© ABC News/YouTube
Hellfire signature?
Footage of the nighttime attack on the Syrian aid convoy in Aleppo has surfaced. But there's something curious about how the footage has been appearing on Western news reports. A commenter on the Moon of Alabama blog, PavewayIV, made the following observations about what appears in the video, and what it suggests. First, however, here's an unedited version of the blast, courtesy of ABC:


In the screen cap above, you can see what looks to be a cloud of sparks following an initial explosion. According to PavewayIV, this is a signature of the Metal-Augmented Charge (MAC) Hellfire AGM-114N, the Predator drone's typical payload. The fiery cloud is produced by the residue of the fine-mesh fluorinated aluminum particles (the "metal augmentation"). Aside from the ABC footage, most other networks have shown edited versions that make this signature difficult to detect. For example, here's AP's version:


Shakey-cam added for jihadi-vision effect? Why would they do this?

Thermobaric Hellfire air-blasts don't leave craters, and they typically start fires. No craters are visible in footage of the burned convoy.

The Russians have thermobaric bombs, too, according to PavewayIV, but they use different particles and their blast patterns are different: either no "sparkles" or long-duration "sparkles", not the fast-duration flash as seen in the video of the Aleppo blast.

As we reported yesterday, the Russians detected a Predator drone which took off from Incirlik airbase in Syria, flew to the precise location of the convoy, arrived before the strike, stayed for a while, then left after the damage was done. Surely just a coincidence...