Published: December 04, 2019
A TERRIFYING ‘ninja’ missile with six spinning swords appears to have been unleashed in a deadly airstrike on terrorists in Syria, reports claim.
Two jihadis were reportedly ripped to shreds when the weapon was dropped on a van near where the former ISIS leader was killed in October.
5 The US dropped a ‘ninja’ missile with six spinning swords on a minivan, killing two jihadis inside Credit: @Elizrael
Photos of the mangled wreckage suggest US forces may have used the R9X - a modified version of the Hellfire missile - in Tuesday’s attack in Atmeh, according to multiple reports.
The US has not yet confirmed involvement in the strike, but reporters on the ground claimed the international coalition carried out the attack.
One of those killed has been named in reports as jihadi trainer Abu Ahmad al-Muhajir, from the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group, formerly the Nusra Front.
Instead of exploding, the weapon minces its target using six long blades that extend outward just before impact.
It’s been dubbed a "speeding anvil", "ninja bomb" and even "The Flying Ginsu" - because the blades are as sharp as a chef's knife.
Reports claim the two jihadis inside the minivan were "mashed" by the impact.
5 Photos of the mangled wreckage suggest US forces used the destructive R9X Credit: @Elizrael
The international Coalition carried out an air strike near Atmeh, northwestern Idlib, apparently with the R9X Hellfire missile, which does not have an explosive charge. The areas is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. More on the missile: https://t.co/GSDlirp2D2 pic.twitter.com/h1HnVU3qVJ — Elizabeth Tsurkov (@Elizrael) December 3, 2019
NEW - @WSJ confirms the @CIA & @DeptofDefense have a new "secret" missile - the R9X, or "flying Ginsu" - which kills a selected target with 6 blades, but no explosive payload.
-- "To the targeted person, it's as if a speeding anvil fell from the sky."https://t.co/DIQfnfJYDq pic.twitter.com/iM87WUFLhg — Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) May 9, 2019
The weapon was designed to kill terrorists with pinpoint accuracy and reduce the number of civilian casualties.
Development reportedly began in 2011 as an attempt to reduce civilian casualties in the war on terror, especially those used as human shields.
A conventional missile such as the Hellfire explodes, creating a deadly blast radius and turning objects into lethal shrapnel.
But the R9X can be used in more targeted attacks.
It would not be the first time the weapon has been wielded, with reports stating it has been used in Libya, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen.
The strike in Atmeh has clear similarities here to an attack that killed Abu Khayr Al Masri, then Al Qaeda's number two leader, as he drove in his car in Al Mastouma, Syria, in 2017.
This city is also in Idlib and is some 30 miles south of Atmeh.
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Al Masri's car also suffered the most damage toward the front passenger side and is understood to have been hit by an R9X.
The R9X was also used in January to kill Jamal al-Badawi, who was accused of masterminding the US Cole bombing in 2000.
The minivan attack in Atmeh is understood to have been just 10 miles away from where former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid in October.
5 There are similarities here to a strike that killed Abu Khayr Al Masri, then Al Qaeda's number two leader, in 2017 (shown)
5 The roof of the car was shredded and is believed to have been hit by an R9X source