Syrian armed forces using Iranian-made short-range ballistic missile Fateh A-110 against rebels 2912

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The conflict in Syria

 
 
Saturday, December 29, 2012, 09:10 AM
 
Syrian armed forces using Iranian-made short-range ballistic missile Fateh A-110 against rebels.
The Syrian regime this week fired at least two Iranian-made, short-range ballistic missiles in what appears to be an effort to more precisely target Syrian rebels, two U.S. military officials tell CNN. The Fateh A-110 missiles are more accurate than the older Scud variants that Syrian government forces have used in recent weeks.
     

The Syrian regime this week fired at least two Iranian-made, short-range ballistic missiles in what appears to be an effort to more precisely target Syrian rebels, two U.S. military officials tell CNN. The Fateh A-110 missiles are more accurate than the older Scud variants that Syrian government forces have used in recent weeks.
The Fateh A-110 is a short-range, road-mobile, solid-propellant ballistic missile based on the Russian made missile R-65 FROG, but other source said it is a copy of the Chinese DF-11.

     

The Fateh trades range for accuracy. It has a range around 210 km, while the Scud can go about 300 km. But the Fateh has a "circular error probable" or -- CEP -- of 330 feet, while the Scud's CEP is 1,480 feet. CEP is defined as the radius of a circle in which half of a missile's lethal payload falls and is the standard measure of a missile's accuracy.

The firings did not reach near Syria's Turkish border. But the regime's use of ballistic missiles is the reason NATO is planning to send U.S., German and Dutch Patriot missile batteries to Turkish military installations: to protect the southern regions of that NATO ally. All six Patriot batteries are expected to be in place by the end of January 2013.

A NATO official could not confirm the use of short-range ballistic missiles this week, but NATO did detect the launch of such missiles inside Syria on a few December days, more recently on the 22nd.

"The fact that Scud-type missiles were used in Syria emphasizes the need for effective defense protection of our ally Turkey," the NATO official said. "This is why, earlier this month, NATO allies decided to deploy Patriot missiles in Turkey to augment Turkey's air defenses. The deployment, which will start within weeks, is defensive only. Its aim is to deter any threats to and defend and protect the population and territory of Turkey."

U.S. officials say they believe the Syrians are firing ballistic missiles to preserve their aircraft, some of which have been shot down by rebels.

 

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