ISIS in military parade, experts deride missile as ‘99% useless’
July 1, 2014
PARADE CHARADE? In a show of force, the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), newly rebranded as the Islamic State, parades a Scud missile on Monday around A-Raqqa city, the heart of its newly declared Caliphate.
The military demonstration, celebrating the organization’s official announcement of the formation of an Islamic Caliphate on Sunday, included tanks, heavy weaponry and howitzers, among other weapons, reported pro-opposition news agency Syria Mubasher Monday.
The picture’s caption, published by an ISIS-affiliated Twitter account and widely circulated on Arabic social media Tuesday, reads, “A Scud missile in the hands of an Islamic State soldier.”
But weapons experts quickly pointed out that the missile is inoperable.
“It’s 99% useless,” said Brookings Fellow Charles Lister, a military specialist, on Twitter Monday.
“The only danger the Islamic State scud is to anyone at the moment is if they accidently run over a pedestrian showing it off,” commented Brown Moses, a weapons blogger wtracking the Syrian war, adding that “the Scud on display in the Islamic State military parade in Raqqa is likely one captured in Feb 2013” by the Free Syrian Army in Deir e-Zor.
Meanwhile, the parade itself had some unexpected guests.
“When a regime plane flew over the demonstration, ISIS fighters launched missiles at it because they were scared for their weapons,” Abu Ibrihim, an activist based in A-Raqqa told Syria Direct Tuesday.
“Normally when the war planes come to city, the fighters don’t shoot back at them.”