US forces are believed to have killed a jihadist leader and two others using a 'Ninja' missile that cut through their Hyundai car.
The Hellfire R9X was reportedly aiming at an Al-Qaeda target travelling between Azaz and Afrin in northern Aleppo, Syria.
Reports say there was no explosion and no harm caused to individuals outside of the silver car in Al-Bassuta, Afrin.
According to locals there were four passengers in the car with three killed instantly and the fourth badly injured. Images of the destroyed car were posted on social media December 7.
The 'Ninja' missile sliced through the silver Hyundai car in Al-Bassuta, Afrin (left). Reports say there was no explosion and no harm caused to individuals outside of the vehicle (right)
Videos showing the caved in roof and damaged car were posted on social media December 7
The car's roof and interior is seen after being shredded by the precise missile strike
It is reported that it was carried out by the United States Air Force and Central Intelligence Agency and is now the fourth known use of the missile.
The missile was first said to have been used by the CIA in February 2017 against al Qaeda's No. 2, Egyptian national Ahmad Hasan Abu Khayr al-Masri, in Syria's Idlib Province, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It was supposedly used a second time by the Pentagon in Yemen in January 2019 to strike Jamal al-Badawi, who was accused of masterminding the USS Cole's bombing at a Yemeni port in 2000, which killed 17 US sailors.
The third use of the missile was said to have been on December 3, in Atmeh, Syria, killing two people in a van.
Footage of the weapons' usage show vehicles ripped to shreds with roofs caved in from the targeted missiles.
The 'flying Ginsu' is a modified version of a Hellfire missile, usually around five feet in length and weighing 100 pounds, that has been deployed by US drones and usually causes a large blast area that scorches targets and their surroundings.
This metal core with six blades is said to replace the missile's traditional explosive warhead. During flight, the blades are said to swing out, shredding anything in its path (file)
The car ripped to shreds with the roof caved in from the targeted missile which killed a top jihadist leader and two others
The weapon known is kitted out with a non-explosive warhead that can strike a target with more than 100 pounds of metal.
It includes set of six folding sword-like blades, designed to smash through buildings and vehicles with minimal civilian casualties.
It comes after US forces reportedly conducted an airstrike on a mini van in a north-western Syrian city on Tuesday 3, killing two targets just 10 miles away from where former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid in October.
The US Military conducted an airstrike on a minivan in a north-western Syrian city on Tuesday, just 10 miles away from where Special Forces carried out the raid that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in October
According to The Warzone, the hit was carried out in Atmeh, located in Syria’s Idlib province, which is around five miles from the Turkish border and fewer than 10 miles from Barisha, where al-Baghdadi was found to be hiding in a compound.
It’s been reported that two people were killed, however their identities have not yet been released, nor as any information to suggest which terrorist groups the individuals were believed to have been affiliated with, if any.
Tentative reports online suggest at least one of the victims killed may have been Abu Ahmad al-Muhajir, a member of Hayat Tahrir Al Sham – or HTS - an offshoot of Al Qaeda who separated from the terrorist outfit in Syria back in 2017.
The targeted strike was said to have involved the use of a secret ‘Ninja’ missile, otherwise known as the AGM-114R9X which substitutes the explosive warhead found on standard models for a set of six folding sword-like blades, designed to smash through buildings and vehicles with minimal civilian casualties
The CIA developed the 'Ninja' missile that instead of exploding, deploys six blades to rip through vehicles and kill its target
Pictures of the mangled van have been circulating on social media, showing extensive damage to the front passenger side but otherwise limited damage to the rest of the car – telltales signs the R9X was employed for the occasion.
Local reports say the men inside the car were ‘mashed’ by the impact, again alluding to the fact a non-explosive warhead was used by military officials.
The R9X is designed to to reduce unintended casualties caused by other more conventional missiles that detonate and engulf both targets and their surroundings.
The devastating so called 'flying Ginsu', was reportedly used to kill deputy leader of Al-Qaeda Abu Khayr al-Masri in February 2017 – and the scenes from Tuesday’s attack bear several similarities.
Al-Masri was killed while driving a car in Al Mastouma, Syria. The city is also in province of Idlib and is around 30 miles south of Atmeh.
Al Masri's car also suffered the most damage toward the front passenger side, with minimal damage to the rest of the car - a trademark of the AGM-114R9X, which has reportedly been used extremely sparingly by US forces.
The strike was carried out in Atmeh, located in Syria’s Idlib province, which is around five miles from the Turkish border and fewer than 10 miles from Barisha, where al-Baghdadi was found to be hiding in a compound in October
The devastating so called 'flying Ginsu', was reportedly used to kill deputy leader of Al-Qaeda Abu Khayr al-Masri in February 2017 (above) – and the scenes from Tuesday’s attack bear several similarities
Al Masri's car also suffered the most damage toward the front passenger side, with minimal damage to the rest of the car - a trademark of the AGM-114R9X, which has reportedly been used extremely sparingly by US forces
The strong correlations to the two strikes point to the idea the R9X was also employed on Tuesday. Pictures of the van on social media also show it was hit in a confined urban area, where a non-explosive warhead would be of preference.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice