Thursday, 4 August 2022

Sliced and diced

For argument's sake, let us assume that this from the BBC is actually a good interpretation of what actually happened, and the whole thing is not false conclusions drawn on the basis of a carefully manipulated series of PR events. Maybe Zawahari was a fictitious character whom the Yanks photo-shopped into existence so that they could later claim credit for eliminating him with a non-existent weapon, what do we know?

The Zawahiri strike, he added, "sounds like a model application" of the [assassination] process. "It sounds like they were very careful and deliberate in this instance to find him in a location and at a time when they could hit just him and not harm any other person," Prof Banks said.

In the case of the Zawahiri strike, it has been suggested, but not confirmed, that the US also used a relatively unknown version of the Hellfire - the R9X - which deploys six blades to slice through targets using its kinetic energy.

In 2017, another al-Qaeda leader and one of Zawahiri's deputies, Abu Khayr al-Masri, was reportedly killed with an R9X Hellfire in Syria. Photos of his vehicle taken after the strike showed that the missile had cut a hole in the roof and shredded its occupants, but without signs of an explosion or any further destruction to the vehicle.

Here is a picture of said vehicle, from The Daily Mail, so that seems like a reasonable conclusion based on scanty evidence:
Anyway, returning to the story:

"... His family protested his innocence and said they were distraught. His wife was reported to be in pieces. Funnily enough, so was he."


A K Haart said...

The missile sounds gruesome, but on reflection it sounds neater than an explosive version flinging body parts all over the place. Far tidier.

DCBain said...

Modern surgery cutting out the bad tissue: all of it.

Bayard said...

"Sounds like a load of crap to me."

Reminiscent of the "gas bomb" which managed to punch through two reinforced concrete floors and land on a bed without any damage other than superficial to itself or the bed.

Mark Wadsworth said...

AKH, exactly.

DCB, nowhere near enough of it.

B, you really are a spoilsport. I put in a big fat disclaimer asking people to go along with the story... mainly so I could squeeze in the punchline at the end!

Bayard said...

Mark, my suspension of disbelief was cut down by the photo. I was managing fine up till then.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, what is it about the photo that doesn't suggest a slice-and-dice style weapon? Assuming as always that this photo was taken of the right car after the alleged incident happened.

Bayard said...

"B, what is it about the photo that doesn't suggest a slice-and-dice style weapon?"

This is a car that is supposed to have been hit by a missile. Missiles travel at high speed, otherwise they would drop out of the sky, not having anything much in the way of wings. Missiles also weigh quite a lot.
Mass times speed equals kinetic energy, lots of it, all of which needs to be dissipated when the missile comes to rest suddenly, either as heat, or as kinetic energy in bits of whatever the missile has hit. There is no way that car has dissipated that amount of kinetic energy with only the damage that is visible. It looks to me more like a car that the fire brigade have cut their way into to get someone out.