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Syrian Army Shows Unique Tactics in 'Exploding Barrels'

Syrian army improvises 'exploding barrels' as both sides developing creative tactics for urban warfare.
By Dalit Halevi, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 11/13/2013, 2:45 AM

Explosion (illustrative)
Explosion (illustrative)
Flash 90

A recent video reveals the Syrian army's latest creative weapon, an improvised "exploding barrel" which is dropped by helicopter to wreak massive damage on buildings below.

The bloody crisis has pushed both sides to exercise creativity in developing tactics for urban warfare.

In the army's latest technique, "exploding barrels" are rolled out of helicopters towards rebel strongholds, or in many documented cases, towards private buildings and houses.

On contact the barrels explode, drilling through cement roofs and causing massive destruction to both the building and its environs.

A unique video exposes one barrel that didn't explode, providing an opportunity to learn how they are assembled. The improvised explosive is made of a metal tank welded shut and filled with anywhere from tens of kilograms to over a hundred kilograms of explosive materials.

In the video rebels are seen removing the explosive materials from the "exploding barrel" for use in their own explosive charges.

The rebels have used their explosive charges in a similarly creative and improvised manner to inflict massive damage. Rare footage recently caught a tank being destroyed in a pillar of flame as it rolled over an explosive charge planted at a fixed location in advance.

Syria's war, now in its third year, has left over 120,000 dead since March 2011. There has been some indication that rebel forces will attend peace talks in Geneva, despite a lack of agreement between rebel forces and President Bashar Assad's regime as to whether Assad will play a role in Syria's future.