A new evidence suggests that what was reported on September 17 as a Russian airstrike on the town of Abu Khashab in northeastern Syria was in fact a defensive maneuver by a warplane of the Russian Aerospace Forces.
The munition dropped during the alleged airstrike has been finally identified by experts as a Russian-made SAB-250T illumination bomb.
The cluster bomb carries seven flares each equipped with a parachute. The bomb is usually used for illumination. However, it can be also used as counter-measure against infrared-guided anti-aircraft missiles.
I was finally able to identify the bomb from Abu Khashab incident, it is a Russian SAB 250T. The bomb carries seven parachute flares. The bomb is used for illumination or as an active counter-measure against IR-guided anti-aircraft missiles. https://t.co/yutI8bW8a8 pic.twitter.com/DhqDL1aCzF
— Within Syria (@WithinSyriaBlog) September 18, 2021
The SAB-250T was dropped over Abu Khashab at noon, thus it was not deployed for illumination. The bomb didn’t result in human or material losses.
A Russian warplane may have deployed the SAB-250T while on a routine patrol over northeastern Syria as a part of a defensive maneuver after being fired at or being threatened in a way or another. It is also possible that the bomb was deployed as part of an exercise.
Abu Khashab, where the incident took place, is located in the eastern Deir Ezzor countryside, which is held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led coalition. ISIS cells are also known to be active in the region.
The Ministry of Defense of Russia has not commented on the unusual incident, yet. So do the US-led coalition and the SDF.
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