The Russians Are Getting Ready To Use A “Heavy Flamethrower” Missile In Syria Which Can Flatten Eight City Blocks At A Time

It’s not exactly a nuclear option, but it seems pretty close – and it shows that while the Russians lack the high-tech sophistication and operational firepower of the U.S. military, they might actually make up for it in raw brutality.

Whether this weapon is actually used on ISIS, as is being advertised, rather than the other anti-Assad rebels in Syria that the U.S. has supported, is up for grabs. But if they’re bringing it to the battlefield you can bet they’re going to use it on somebody

Russia has deployed one of the deadliest weapons in its arsenal as part of their military action in Syria, according to reports.

The mobile multiple rocket launcher – TOS-1A – features thermobaric weapons which can destroy eight city blocks in one strike, causing indiscriminate damage.

This comes as Moscow announced that Russian fighter jets hit 40 ISIS targets in Syria since Tuesday morning.

The TOS-1A system is a 30- or 24-barrel multiple rocket launcher and thermobaric weapons mounted on a T-72 tank chassis.

Recent pictures shared on social media purports to show at least one mobile TOS-1A being used by government forces in Syria.

The TOS-1A Solntsepyok (meaning ‘blazing sun’) arrived in Syria earlier this month, according to theĀ IBTimes, citing a Russian newspaper.

The TOS-1A Heavy Flamethrower System, also nicknamed Buratino after a Russian children’s book character, can destroy several city blocks in one strike,

The thermobaric warheads, also called vacuum or fuel-air explosives, spreads a flammable liquid around a target and then ignites the liquid.

The blast is lethal in itself, but the vacuum that follows the explosion is strong enough to cause deadly internal damage, including rupturing of vital organs, such as the lungs.

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A study by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency from as early as 1993, writes that the effect of a thermobaric weapon on targets in confined spaces, such as buildings, bunkers and tunnels, is ‘immense’.

‘Those near the ignition point are obliterated. Those at the fringe are likely to suffer many internal, and thus invisible injuries, including burst eardrums and crushed inner ear organs, severe concussions, ruptured lungs and internal organs, and possibly blindness.’

The TOS-1A has reportedly been used by the Russian Army since 2001 and has also been exported to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Iraq where it has already been used to fight ISIS.

Few would be particularly upset that ISIS fighters would suffer such a nightmarish fate, and even given that the U.S.-supported coalition includes elements with relationships disturbingly close to Al-Qaeda it isn’t the end of the world if the Russians were to use it on them.

But each missile the TOS-1A fires in Syria is to an extent a missile fired at American credibility. That Putin is doing so in such a relatively indiscriminate fashion is a direct repudiation of the Obama foreign policy, which has been incinerated like a target of one of those thermobaric warheads.

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