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Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Al Nusrah Front detonates 50 IEDs in massive ambush
2013-02-20
The Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, released video today that shows numerous IED, or roadside bomb, attacks against Syrian military personnel. The group claims that in one attack, it "simultaneously detonated 50 explosive devices on a Syrian military convoy in the Eastern Ghotah area of Damascus," according to a summary of the video by the SITE Intelligence Group, which obtained and translated the video. The attack reportedly took place on Dec. 6, 2012.

The video above, from SITE, shows the attack in question. It is difficult to determine how many bombs were detonated. I was able to count 35 distinct plumes of smoke. At 0:36, you can see a car explode (the video is filmed from a distance). The Al Nusrah Front cameraman also filmed the aftermath of the attack; about 10 vehicles were destroyed or so badly damaged that they were left behind.

I've been following the war in the Iraqi and Afghan theaters for years, and cannot recall such a spectacular IED event. I've heard reports of upwards of 20 IEDs daisy-chained together and detonated, but the attack in the video is by far the biggest that I am aware of.

This attack says quite a bit about the resources and capabilities of the Al Nusrah Front. Without a doubt, Syria has become one of the primary theaters in al Qaeda's global jihad.

Posted by:tipper

#12  It worked for France during the Napoleonic Wars and it worked for Germany during WWII.

Well, not quite. On the Napoleonic Wars, Chandler, David, Greenhill Books, London 1994, Chapter 9, Wellington in the Peninsula: A Reassessment, pg 159-60.
It has been estimated that the guerrillas at any one time never numbered more in total than between 36,500 and 50,000 under arms; yet they have been credited with causing an average of thirty French deaths a day. Thus, of the 240,000 Frenchmen who died in Spain, some 45,000 can be attributed to direct battle action, 76,650 to guerrillas, and the balance to disease and accidental causes. King Joseph's aide, General Bigarre, put the figure of French deaths from guerrilla action as high as 180,000 men over five years, and total guerrilla loses over the same period as under 25,000 - but his estimates are probably exaggerated on both counts.
Posted by: Procopius2k   2013-02-20 16:31  

#11  the Moslem Brotherhood steps into the vacuum and squashes all of the various groups that fought for his departure...Al Nusrah included.

Isn't Al Nusrah the military wing of the Ikhwan?
Posted by: Zhang Fei   2013-02-20 15:53  

#10  For a military convoy there sure were a lot of civilian vehicles. Assad must be running out of eq1uipment. Syria, the 21st century Lebannon.

We have only the jihadists' word that it was a military convoy. I think attacks like this are less likely in Syria, simply because the traditional remedy, probably applied with some vigor by the Syrian state, has been to kill everyone living within some distance of the attacks. It worked for France during the Napoleonic Wars and it worked for Germany during WWII.
Posted by: Zhang Fei   2013-02-20 15:51  

#9  More irony. Iran supports the Assad regime. Iran has also been instrumental in supplying IEDs to Iraq and Afghanistan which have been used against us. The rebels have turned the technology on Iran-backed Syria. One can hope some of these convoys are Iranian.

I don't see the irony. Setting a bunch of bombs to detonate on cue from a radio signal ain't brain surgery. If it were, the Iranians wouldn't have figured it out. I think there's this misperception that weapon technology is this black art that non-Western primitives can't figure out. During the Afghan rout of the British expedition almost 200 years ago, the Afghans were using rifles that outranged British weaponry, and the Afghans were even more illiterate than they are today.
Posted by: Zhang Fei   2013-02-20 15:46  

#8  Looks like the fuel truck survived. A lot of people in the vehicles made it out with minimal harm. Did the rebel IED detonating personnel follow up with an attack and take out the Syrian military personnel? IOW, did they capitalize on their pyrotechnic show?
Posted by: Alaska Paul   2013-02-20 13:43  

#7  For a military convoy there sure were a lot of civilian vehicles. Assad must be running out of eq1uipment. Syria, the 21st century Lebannon.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble   2013-02-20 12:37  

#6  Or Syria descends into a state of constant Civil War like an African nation. It could happen, I mean it's gone on this long.
Posted by: Charles   2013-02-20 12:21  

#5  Yes they will both losewhen the fighting is over, Assad is gone and the Moslem Brotherhood steps into the vacuum and squashes all of the various groups that fought for his departure...Al Nusrah included.
Posted by: Bill Clinton   2013-02-20 12:08  

#4  I must admit to being conflicted. I find myself alternately rooting for whoever is losing at the moment whether it's Assad or Al Nusrah.

Can they both lose?
Posted by: Alanc   2013-02-20 11:35  

#3  More irony. Iran supports the Assad regime. Iran has also been instrumental in supplying IEDs to Iraq and Afghanistan which have been used against us. The rebels have turned the technology on Iran-backed Syria. One can hope some of these convoys are Iranian.
Posted by: JohnQC   2013-02-20 10:53  

#2  Unfortunately these guys have figured out the red wire green wire thing.

All I can say with all of the multifaceted interfraticidinal bickering, squabbling and killing is I would recommend Turkey and Iraq build a big high fence and buy lots of popcorn.
Posted by: Bill Clinton   2013-02-20 09:46  

#1  so it turns out your emergency blinkers go off if your car is blown up (see video at ab out 58 seconds)

who knew
Posted by: lord garth   2013-02-20 08:29  

00:00