The US uses the “ninja” missiles in this part of Syria allegedly to avoid collateral damage and evidence that the US is even operating there
An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A US “ninja” missile was used against a truck in Salqin, Syria, locals said on Tuesday. This is the R9X missile which is a modified Hellfire missile that can be launched from US armed drones, such as the Reaper. The US has used it around a half-dozen times in northern Syria against individuals linked to al-Qaeda or extremists. The missile, because it has swords that pop out in place of a warhead, carves up the target on impact, leaving a bloody mess but not harming others nearby.
Salqin is a town in the rolling hills near the Turkish border, about a dozen kilometers from the border town of Reyhanli in Turkey. This is an area where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi also operated before a US raid in October 2019. In fact, Barisha, where Baghdadi was killed, is about a 30-kilometer drive from Salqin. A good driver can do this trip in 45 minutes on winding roads. The area has been run by extremists for much of the Syrian Civil War and Turkey now occupies many areas around there.
Turkey also illegally occupied Afrin in northern Syria, an area it ethnically cleansed of Kurds and sent Syrian extremists it recruited to control. This is now a hot bed of extremist groups that have origins or links sometimes to al-Qaeda. These groups operate openly under Turkish protection. Turkey is a member of NATO but many ISIS members have found refuge in Turkey or transited through Turkey to parts of Syria. Turkey also hosts Hamas terrorists.
The US uses the “ninja” missiles in this part of Syria allegedly to avoid collateral damage and evidence that the US is even operating there. Nevertheless, US drones have been seen on video, and it is an open secret that extremists here are on wanted lists in the US.
Syrians in the area reportedly said no one was killed in the recent attack. This would point to a failure of US intelligence or a purposeful campaign of lies from locals to hide what really happened. The usual gruesome images of the remains of the people struck by the flying sword-bomb have not been shown.
Experts who follow the use of the “ninja” weapon point to similarities to a December 3 and September 14 incident, according to the account Within Syria online.
We reported on the use of this weapon in June and July of this year.
It appears the missile failed to find its target correctly. It is not clear who the target was.