Sep 28, 2013

Liwa Al Islam Videos - Improved Quality

If this is your first time here, I recommend starting from the conclusion page.

Anita Hunt has kindly prepared enhanced versions of the Liwa Al Islam videos (which were analyzed here and geolocated here). They show much more detail and could assist us in finding more clues as to the nature and reliability of these videos. Please share your findings.

Some interesting screenshots here.

Thank you Anita!

Transcript:
Man saying in a Syrian Accent: Wednesday 21st of August 2013, operation "Reeh Sarsar" (this term was used in the Quran to describe the wind that was sent as a curse to the people of A'ad, who disobeyed god and refused to follow his messenger, and defied God's teachings) by "Liwa'a Al Islam" targeting the Assadi's regime forces in Al-Qabun. Allahu Akbar! (God is the greatest).
[Footsteps, behind the man there are black banners (flags) with the words "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah". Below that the words "Liwa Al-Islam" in a smaller font]
[The rocket is launched with "Allahu Akbar". On their foreheads there  are black bands with the words "No God But Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah" is written in white color]. 



Transcript:
Man saying in a Syrian Accent with a mix of original Arabic: Assad's Shabiha (a pro-regime militia) in the Qabun district, Wednesday 21st August 2013 with an Ababil rocket (Ababil is a word from the Quran describing the birds that attacked the invaders of God's holy mosque in Makkah by rocks, and turned them into perforated dead bodies).
[He is asking people to Say "Allahu Akbar" by saying "Takbeer", and people are responding by "Allahu Akbar"].
[When the rocket is launched, he asks with excitement "Takbeer!", and people are responding with "Allahu Akbar!"].


Transcript:
Man saying in a Syrian accent with a mix of original Arabic: Assad dogs in Jobar area with two Ababil rockets on Wednesday 21st of August 2013. Allahu Akbar! (God is the greatest) 
[Then he's asking other people to say Allahu Akbar by saying "Takbeer"!]
Man: Come on, let's go back Abu Muhammad. Go back.
[A rocket is launched with a man calling "Takbeer" again, and people responding with "Allahu Akbar"].
[Then another rocket is launched with the same scenario].


Appendix

Prior to October 7th, the videos in this page were based on lower quality originals. Here are the old links in case anyone needs them: 

Thanks to Petri Krohn and Amund Hesbol for finding the higher quality originals.

66 comments:

  1. Plenty of directional light in these ones - moonlight?

    At least one of the shots showed a trajectory perhaps lower than 45 degrees? Certainly not an up and down indirect fire launch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's light from a truck. See here: http://imgur.com/a/48k5x#19
      To determine angle you should look at the late frames, when the camera is far. Looks a bit over 45 degrees in both cases.

      Delete
  2. The videos may be nothing but a tool for misinformation. They emphasize the possibly false premise that UMLACAs are the delivery vehicle of the chemical agents – gas masks an everything!

    There are only two possibilities:
    1) These are the smoking gun videos; Liwa al Islam did it!
    2) The videos are a hoax.
    In the later case they tell absolutely nothing about the relationship between chemical weapons and UMLACAs.

    On a general note, if we take all the YouTube evidence at face value then there is no question about it; the rebels are guilty of the CW attack. In reality you must apply extreme prejudiced to all "evidence". A YouTube video only becomes evidence if it has been geo-located or tied to other evidence. Take for example the ITV News "exclusive footage" from the Erbin hospital. Can any part of the story be verified? Most likely not. What we have is Liwa al-Islam members making a video of other Liwa al-Islam members. How do we know the guy who says he is a "volunteer paramedic" is not in fact a "volunteer" fighter and a volunteer serial killer? I do not know, but I am looking into it now.

    The come to some conclusion we must take all the "evidence" as just pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle. Once we make all the pieces fit, then – maybe – we know what happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not a choice between "all evidence is reliable" or "none is reliable". Each piece of evidence should be examined separately and evaluated, and then all should be combined to a conclusion.

      I must say I don't understand the thermobaric claim. Thermobaric weapons are not a big flamethrower. These are bombs that generate powerful shockwaves. Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf7m7hN5Szc

      The rockets are very clean and intact. The area immediately around them is hardly damaged. These are not the scenes of a thermobaric bomb attack.

      But I'm willing to be convinced otherwise - Is there any evidence that looks like the effect of a TB bomb, and not standard war zone damage?

      Delete
    2. The reason why I say the UMLACA is a thermobaric weapon is because every single piece of it of it – including the "bicycle pump" – has been identified to be part of a well known, publicly available Fuel-Air Explosive design, namely the American SLUFAE. See this angry comment by Daniel S. on the Brown Moses blog.

      The damage we see at the UMLACA impact site is not normal battle damage. The "horizontal shelling" would create thousands of holes that would slowly eat away the cinderblock walls. Instead, we see all walls of a building collapsing in one big blast. A thermobaric blast would not create a crater. We would see relatively little damage at the blast site, maybe some scorching. The earth just does not give way.

      What the blast is good for is collapsing underground tunnels.

      Delete
    3. P.S. – I do not see any "standard war zone damage" in the areas targeted by UMLACAs. If there was some, then they would have been abandoned by their residents and we could not see the hundreds of children (allegedly) sleeping peacefully in their homes.

      Despite this, I believe the areas in Zamalka targeted were largely deserted. The only bodies we see in situ were planted by hoaxers.

      Delete
    4. I couldn't find the bicycle pump in the patent. What part number is that?
      http://www.google.com/patents/US4273048

      I think this location looks very chemical, and not thermobaric
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZA4Tknw1Zk
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JStwIlt_zII

      Delete
    5. Again quoting Daniel S.

      About the only really interesting thing to poke around with on this anymore is figuring out how they modified the SLUFAE design. Something like 95% of it is just flat out copy. "bicycle pump", aka component #72, is the communication link. The holes are curious, I'll give it that, but the patent is not overly specific.

      Quote from US patent 4273048:
      Communiction link 72 is shown strapped externally to rocket motor 50 by straps 84.

      Delete
    6. The patent clearly states 72 is wiring, and indeed it is drawn as a very thin component not at all similar to the bicycle pump.

      Delete
    7. Now reading the SLUFAE patent myself. Daniel S. is mistaken about component #72, but that does not make a major difference.

      The difference between a SLUFAE type FAE rocket and a purported chemical rocket of similar design is that the FAE rocket will need some way of igniting the fuel air cloud. Both would have a liquid container and a burster charge (#74) to disperse the liquid.

      The FAE rocket would also need a "second section" (#64) connected to the proximity fuse (#70) by wiring that traverses the liquid container. The existence of this wiring is evident from the second hole in the FAE / "chemical" version of UMLACA.

      In the SLUFAE design the second section contains a "second event package (SEP) chamber" (#66) which launches two cloud detonators (#68). The mystery "bicycle pump" would have to serve all the functions of the SEP chamber and somehow launch a cloud detonator or in some other way ignite the fuel air cloud. I think it is feasible that the bicycle pump could do this.

      ***

      This patent from 1990 contains technical details of the SLUFAE design. The maximum range of the rocket must be over 700 meters.

      The SLUFAE system consists of 30 rocket-propelled canisters mounted on a tracked cargo vehicle. Each canister contains 38.5 kg of liquid propylene oxide fuel. These are sequen­tially launched from a 700 m standoff and follow parachute retarded trajectories to land along a line spanning the minefield. Upon impact, the fuel in each canister is dispersed to form an explosive fuel droplet-air cloud which is subsequently detonated by a small explosive charge. The detonation of each cloud produces a blast wave capable of activating surface-laid single-impulse pressure sensitive mines within a circular area 20 m in diameter.

      Delete
  3. Somewhat off topic, but relevant to the false-flag modus operandi. The the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) finally takes responsibility for the May 2013 Reyhanlı bombings. Does anyone notice. No!

    This story was big news then, when it was useful for accusing Syria. Now there are new accusations, so this act of terror no longer maters.

    Terrorist organizations have a longer memory. They like to take credit for acts of terror long since removed from the news cycle. The videos would be valuable souvenirs for al-Qaeda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can I ask, kindly, why does the debate have to be split between conflicting hypothesis? We are rushing to _prove_ something, when, instead, the better and less sensationalized approach is to agglomerate evidence, pose questions and slowly graduate to a hypothesis, then to a theory, then seek to prove same. Even if we are not going in accordance with the scientific method, then perhaps the legal method is more useful - we have an accused, a case has been presented, the burden of proof is clear. Have we already dismissed the case against al Assad and moved on to a false flag allegation? This is coming from someone who believes the case against al Assad (for all my distaste for the regime) is relatively weak.

      Delete
  4. I've been discussing these enhanced videos in the Storyful Open Newsroom on G+ with Elliot Higgins/Brown Moses, who made a comparison with other videos showing the Mezzeh air base as a possible location match. Higgins and I share reservations about some other aspects of the video.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Note that brown moses said the vehicle is similar to the one from mazzeh, not that the location is there.
      I agree these videos are weird, but they also make for a very weird fabrication. hard to say what's weirder...

      Delete
    2. Correct. I should have noted, while rough ground is shown when illuminated, a hard asphalt or paved surface is revealed by the sound of footsteps. The launch area therefore has both asphalt/paved and unpaved open ground between the more distant, later, viewpoint and the launcher. These characteristics might help narrow down the possible launch site.

      Delete
  5. I noticed a detail that may be significant when comparing the Mezzeh air base video with the first of the enhanced Liwa-videos. At the end of the Mezzeh video we see the launcher being covered with a tarp. As others have noted, this is very convenient for moving the launcher around without attracting attention. In the Liwa-videos we clearly see the frame for the same type of tarp cover on the truck- down to the sloping design. This made me think that we may not be looking at two similar trucks in these videos, we may be looking at the very same truck. I've assembled frames from the two videos and hosted them on a g+ page. https://plus.google.com/108501956240571783420/posts?banner=pwa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a direct link..
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108501956240571783420/20131002?noredirect=1#5930218147564874338

      Delete
    2. Nice! I was wondering what that thing is. But why do you think it is the very same truck, and not a feature of all the UMLACA launchers?

      Delete
    3. The launch vehicle is similar, but not the same. On the video you can see the frame for the tarp covering the whole cab section, with a triangular structure on the sides. (See more screenshots here.)

      The Mercedes support truck is also similar, but not the same.

      Delete
    4. The angular frame is detachable, so I can't see the relevance of bringing that up. The triangular structure - I'm not sure what we're seeing here, and neither are you. The video quality is extremely bad, and one can only point out obvious similarities, not subtle differences. But I would nevertheless be interested in hearing what particular make of Mercedes truck we see in the Lawa-video, and how you came to that conclusion, Petri.

      Delete
  6. I'll try to clarify what I'm thinking. I'm not saying it has to be exactly the same vehicle. But I'm pretty sure this truck belongs to the same people we saw in the Mezzeh Airport. This is why: In both instances we see a highly specialized vehicle, with a small crane (hard to make out in the Lawa-video) and supporting feet at the back - useful for loading heavy munitions and stabilizing both during loading and firing. In both videos we see parts of the frame for the tarp. In the Lawa-videos this is used to drape Lawa al Islam-banners on.

    What I'm actually thinking is that the SAA put their foot in it when they faked this video. It is too close to the real thing! Because it is the real thing. For a more convincing psyop: Instead of using their own highly technical and mobile launcher they should have taken the time to construct a makeshift stationary launcher - to give the impression of an improvised make-do solution on the part of Lawa al Islam. That would have been more difficult to argue against.

    There are other possible scenarios, such as rebels having looted an entire suite of chemical UMLACAs with launchers - then made a fake video to incriminate Lawa al Islam. Everything is possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting ideas.
      I still want to complete analysis of the evidence, before trying to figure out the whole story.

      Delete
    2. Mashaal Al Zaben commander of Liva al-Islam meeting with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey a week before the attack (see photo at link). Liwa-al-Islam is a mercenary corps, funded and armed by Saudi Arabia and the USA; they have access to most everything Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have.

      Read the details at: http://nsnbc.me/2014/01/19/corroborated-top-us-and-saudi-officials-directly-responsible-for-chemical-weapons-attack/

      Delete
  7. This is the Mezzeh Airport video. I just realised its not accesible in this thread. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cr_qVN1mjA&list=PLPC0Udeof3T7v4htuN7lMadp9lGkJpVZJ

    ReplyDelete
  8. I added a photo of a vehicle to the imgur album http://imgur.com/a/48k5x#27 for comparison with the missile launch vehicle, the metal frame behind the cab, and the angled upright cylindrical feature(s) seen protruding upwards from the rear of the truck bed

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nice! But I think the vehicle in question looks more like this, the Mitsubishi Canter.
    http://www.aplusmotors.biz/2951-2005-Mitsubishi-Canter-for-sale-in-kenya.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And here's a Canter with a similar crane.
      http://www.tipmaster.co.uk/acatalog/Mitsubishi_Canter_Crane_Tipper.html

      Delete
    2. Didn't follow this closely so forgive me if I misunderstand your task. Went Mercedes-spotting on the German Wikipedia, though. The pic you uploaded to picasaweb looks very similar to the post-1998 Atego models like this one here. One side window, higher at the front than at the back, but not as much as the model in Liss Nup's picture. Notice the door handle and the overall cabin form. The one in the Liwa video you have in your album here has two side windows, a rectangular at the back and a somehow drop-formed at the front. This is how the pre-1998 models looked, since the 70s. Here is one that comes close, I think, from 1973.Notice the overall rounder cabin and the-not-that-flat front.

      Delete
    3. I'm not sure if you're describing the launcher or the support vehicle? I'm mainly interested in the launcher vehicle. We are trying to map if the launcher vehicle is the same in two videos. Most of these types of vehicles are standard fare in the ME - so I wouldnt bother with the support vehicle at all. Anyone can own a Mercedes truck. A Canter fitted with mystery rocket launcher is not so usual.

      Delete
    4. Ah, ok, I thought you were still serious about your "this is the same truck" claim. It obviously isn't as at that small size there is no separate "support vehicle" and trailer and the cabins are different in a way that matches distinctive MB products. As there is no launcher in my pics, you could have been at least sure that I wasn't talking about that. ;o)

      Delete
    5. Then what are you talking about? It's a bit unclear to me. Anyway - about these Liwa-videos, one should ask the often repeated question in discussions about Syria: Qui Bono? Who would benefit from making the videos? Think hard.

      Delete
    6. I'll rephrase that: Who thought they could benefit from making/faking the videos?

      Delete
    7. of course that in the case of a fabrication, then obviously the regime benefits as it could alleviate international pressure.
      however, in the case of a real video, no one thinks it was published by liwa al islam. one possibility is that it was forwarded between acquaintances until someone who opposed this attack decided to leak it.

      Delete
    8. Now is a good time to be reminded of Occams razor: among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected.

      Delete
    9. which one do you think requires fewer assumptions?

      Delete
    10. Ok. My hypothesis is that SAA did it. It is based on a assumed motive - place guilt elsewhere, create confusion - and as you pointed out: alleviate international pressure. The SAA also has the means to produce the movie. They have the weapons and the launcher. This is not an assumption. On all other parties, we have to assume. And we know this, and we know what the equipment look like - because of the video from Mezzeh Military Airport, where we see a rocket team from the SAA operating. The similarities in equipment and procedure in the Mezzeh-video and the Lawa-videos are striking. This further points to the SAA as perpetrator. Maybe this hypothesis is TOO simplified - if you think so you're more than welcome to present a better hypothesis. I do agree that it would be premature to conclude - but frankly I doubt any more evidence will show up on the Gouta massacre. We will have to do with the tiny bits and pieces we already have.

      Delete
    11. I have identified the "Liva al-Islam" launch vehicle as a Hyundai HD series light truck, possibly a Hyundai HD65. See here for details.

      ***

      I downloaded the Liveleak versions of the videos, hoping to get some additional metadata, like the original timestamp on the videos. Did not find much.

      What I did see is that the YouTube videos are much closer to the original camera phone videos. Liveleak has changed the frame rate and resolution of the videos. Any frame capture is best done from the YouTube videos. Liveleak may have better audio though.

      The one thing I did find out from Liveleaks is the original filenames of the videos: MOV_0039.mp4, MOV_0040.mp4, and MOV_0041.mp4. The filenames show that video 1 was recorded first and video 3 last.

      Delete
    12. Amund - I would agree that this would be a simpler story if the video looked like something that could have any effect in alleviating pressure. But it's so bad, that much more assumptions need to be made to claim it's a fabrication. examples:
      Why would the regime publish this when a diplomatic solution was being negotiated and not earlier when military intervention seemed imminent? Why show the Howitzer which no one connected to a chemical attack before?
      Why mention the wrong targets when the regime's official story was a rebel false flag?
      Why use such low quality video that makes it unusable for mass media? Why not give clearer indications that this is a chemical attack (gas masks are a weak indication - anyone who thinks the regime used CW, would think they're for protection)?
      Why put so much emphasis on Liwa Al Islam instead of on saying "sarin", mixing chemicals, or anything else that would make this video incriminating to anyone but a few experts?

      And indeed, this thing influenced no one. It wasn't even a close call that required some debunking by Western governments. It was imply ignored. The few of us who analyzed it in detail are the only ones who realize this could actually be interesting.

      Still hard to say what these videos are exactly, but at this point it seems that the real video theory requires less weird assumptions.

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good work Petri! It seems the "improved quality" description of the LiveLeaks-versions was a bit of a red herring. The Youtube-versions you've used has far superior resolution, and I agree: this is probably a different vehicle from the one we see in the Mazzeh-video. Sasa: I think Brown Moses argued well against similar assumptions in one of his blogposts. I concur with his objections. He also wrote a sensibly about how different these vids look to us who spend endless hours analyzing them opposed to how the they are received among people who are less educated in the fine art of video-analysis. Right now I can't find the link, but you probably remember yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What are the links to the better quality videos? I'll see if Anita will be willing to enhance those.

      What you say is exactly why these videos don't make sense as a fabrication - Fabrications are meant for easy mass media consumption. You'd expect a very simple decent quality video showing people mixing chemicals into a rocket and saying "put the sarin in. this is the only way the world will help us", not people shooting a howitzer and saying they're attacking Syrian troops in Qabun.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, well. You don't always get what you expect. I think the forgers failed in many ways, also in terms of ease of consumption - but the main reason why the videos never created a big wave is the overwhelming consensus created by the UN and HRW-reports. Their authority is largely unquestioned (except for in blogs like this one).

      Delete
    3. We seem to agree this is not what you expect from a typical fabrication, so why do you prefer the fabrication theory to the "different attack by same team" theory?

      Do you have the links to the youtube originals?

      Delete
  12. I had to look around like crazy myself - but here they are:
    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPsHiiEmwtO_yJg6XvR7lUw?feature=watch
    Re the theories: I still maintain that it is the theory with the fewest assumptions. But I'm still on the lookout, and have not concluded.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anybody still not wanting to point out the obvious the rebels have never captured or used D-30's in ghouta, that is a besieged area and they haven't captured the military bases in the area which contain D-30s

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    Replies
    1. Interesting point. Is there any indication of how hard it is to bring a howitzer into Ghouta?

      Delete
    2. Mashaal Al Zaben head of Liva al-Islam meeting with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey a week before the attack. Liwa-al-Islam is a mercenary corps, funded and armed by Saudi Arabia and the USA.

      Read the details at: http://nsnbc.me/2014/01/19/corroborated-top-us-and-saudi-officials-directly-responsible-for-chemical-weapons-attack/

      Delete
  14. The new videos are far better, thanks to Anita Hunt / Liss Nup. New details come to light, is see two lamp posts and more trees behind the launcher. In the original video these appear completely black. I can get some of the details to show by adjusting the luminosity graph on my extracted frames. It is clear however that color grading has to be done to the video material before before the frames are extracted. It may be that the original .3gp video material has 10 bit color depth whereas .jpg only supports 8 bits of luminosity.

    ***

    One thing is still wrong though; the aspect ratio is wrong. The original videos are 480 x 360 pixels in 4:3 aspect ratio. In rotation the video has been squeezed to 270 x 480 pixels in 9:16 aspect ratio.

    Anita: If you are reading this, could you please make available on YouTube your color graded videos in the original 480 x 360 pixels formant in 4:3 aspect ratio without the rotation. I need to extract the frames a second time in this improved quality.

    I think it is now possible to geo-locate the videos and more importantly, prove without doubt that we have the correct location. For this I need the enhanced frames.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I received enhanced videos from Liss Nup. Amazing improvement in quality! I see more road, more sidewalk, more lamp posts, more trees lining road. I think we can soon place this on the map!

      Delete
  15. There are other things to consider with the Lawa-videos, besides the location and types of vehicles.

    The militants are wearing headscarves and neckscarves in a ceremonial way. The way the banners are draped on guns and equipment are also worth noting. I have now gone through a lot of Lawa al Islam-videos, and this is certainly not the way they normally look during operations. There seem to be roughly two types of Lawa al Islam-videos:

    Propaganda-videos showing eager new recruits, showing of equipment (in one video an astonishing number of tanks and APCs). In these videos militants are frequently wearing headscarves and waving banners. They are posing in their best Sunday-attire.

    The other type of videos show actual operations, where militants wear the usual mix of civilian and military clothing typical of all fighters in Syria.

    I see two possible scenarios if indeed these were real Lawa al Islam-videos.

    1. It was an improvised documentation of the actual event, made by one of the militants and meant exclusively for internal sharing within Lawa al Islam.

    This scenario begs the following question: Why bother with the brand new headscarves and banners?

    2. Its a bona fide Lawa al Islam-propaganda film, depicting the actual firing of chemical weapons on Ghouta. The reason it was never published is because it all went terribly wrong. Instead of killing Assad-forces, huge numbers of civilians were killed.

    The question then would be: Why is it filmed in such an awkward and unprofessional way. The situation, with carefully prepared banners and scarves - and not least, proper lighting - requires a camera operator of at least normal Lawa al Islam-standards. Judging by all the videos available, these guys certainly know how to hold a mobile phone camera the right way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, a few points to consider:

      - Filming at night is hard. Check out these official Liwa Al Islam videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6BqP_R3RmA
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttrxrHN4Meg

      - There is no right way to hold a phone camera. You can use any orientation you like. It's the person who uploaded the videos who messed up. He probably accessed the raw files directly instead of using the phone's sync software.

      - Liwa seem to be increasingly concerned about showing their insignia during operations. I speculate this is required for receiving funding. In this video they actually get a person to stand in front of a launcher holding a flag (1:05)!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCoNFW9toxA

      Having said that, I agree that these videos are way above normal in how many flags and banners they have, but every evidence has something weird about it when examined in detail. That's how real life works.

      Furthermore, I'm not sure this is an indication in favor of the fabrication theory. In the context of a fabrication, having too many flags means they are into overfeeding the audience. But when it gets to the operational details they suddenly become very sophisticated and subtle: not saying 'sarin', giving the wrong targets, saying it's an attack on regime forces, and showing a howitzer but not an M14.

      Is it weird? yes. Does it indicate fabrication? don't think so.

      Delete
    2. There is a right and a wrong way to hold a mobile phone if you intend to publish the movie later in a landscape-format, be it 4:3, 16:9 or any other known video-format. If you mess up with this, you need to change the orientation later in software resulting in a huge loss in quality. I’m sure Petri and others can confirm this.

      This may or may not have been done with intention - if the video is fake it certainly is a possibility. Anyway: I’m not inclined to credit any party in the conflict with the sophistication of a Blair Witch-director. They seem to have basic skills in video-production, but cleverness is nowhere to be seen.

      Delete
    3. I see what you mean now. I was referring to the video being published right-side-up, but you're referring to them using a portrait orientation when internet videos are usually landscape. I agree.

      Also here, I see no reason to think the regime is more likely than Liwa to use portrait.

      Delete
  16. A few points (excuse me if questions were already raised):

    According to Liwas videos they seem to be disciplined and in great shape. But those guys are VERY disciplined.

    1. They stand relatively still, calm and seem to be bored by the whole process. This does not really look like they are curious about the newly seized weapons and how they would work. Plus they dont seem to be very nervous about the stuff that could be loaded. To me this looks more as they did this a lot of times before.
    2. In the most rebel videos (not Liwa, since I didn't watch much of them yet) it seems everyone of the guys wants to be the first saying "Allahu akbar". Even the camera man often whispers it in the microphone the whole time, at least after some stuff is launched. Here they seem to forget to shout and need the "Takbeer" to do it. Those very hardline islamists do this mostly by themselves without being asked, (again) at least after some stuff is launched. Here they seem not to be too active to save their compounds in paradise and rather answering the "Takbeer" in a very bored way. Maybe the gas masks are a reason because breathing is hard. But aswell their arm and hand positions look "wannabe" in my eyes.
    3. I couldnt see any beard (framewise check should be done for this). I know wearing a gas mask is not comfortable having a beard. But they seem to be cleanly shaved. Not every Liwa guy has to have a beard (as one can see in their normal videos) but I would expect maybe one within this group size.
    4. If this is NOT the video showing (or was produced to show) the sarin attacks, why do they wear gas masks? Was there any attack on Jobar and Qaboun with any different than normal war heads? Is there any evidence of UMLACA attack at the SAA or NDF there?
    5. Did some Syrian government official ever use this video to prove anything? Was it ever used by those who could have fabricated it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good Questions. I was wondering about some of these things myself. Here's what I can think of:
      1. It's possible this is not the first attack, and they attacked government forces in the past. Another option is that the cameraman brings his camera after they're ready for launch, so they're just waiting for him to do his thing. A third option is that they know they're about to attack civilians, and while they think it's for the best, they're not happy doing it.
      2. As you said, talking with a gas mask is very difficult. Also, they can genuinely be unhappy, as suggested above.
      3. You must shave your beard before wearing a gas mask. Incidentally, that's why Hitler had his moustache.
      4. My understanding is that this is a chemical attack on government forces. The SAA indeed reported being attacked by CW.
      5. It was never used by any government official as far as I know.

      Delete
  17. Has anyone noticed that the launch sound and video?

    Sound starts at 1:05:705
    It finishes at 1:08:332 (my audio timings using ffmpeg and audacity)

    Total 2.6 seconds but take into account the range change of at least 100m/s so at ~2.5 seconds it's at least 250m further away or nearly a second in sound travel.

    By audio timing the burn time appears to be closer to 1.6 seconds.

    Looking at the video using avidemux we see

    Launch: 1:05:480
    Flare diminish: 1:07:320

    Giving a nominal burn time of 1.8 seconds.

    These figures seem to match the profile of a typical 122mm rocket listed as 1.67 seconds burn time at http://www.mtc.edu.eg/asat13/pdf/fm04.pdf

    These figures also seem to be a bit shorter than the approximately 3 second burn time seen in the HE version.

    I should note that asides from these videos we have never seen the launch of a 'chemical' missile, nor do we have any definitive flight characteristics other than computer modelling.

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  18. Is there any serious try to map the position yet?

    The paved ground as well as the distance to it and the direction of the open field must be taken into consideration. The distance could be guessed by visual evaluation and by seconds they camera man needs to reach paved ground.

    Howitzer Video:
    Camera does not pass paved ground.
    Camera passes 2 trees (sec 0-12).
    Left hand of the howitzer is a pole. Possibly power pole or street light (sec 8-16).
    Right hand of the howitzer is at least one tree, two could be possible as well (sec 15-22).

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  19. If this is the smoking gun video and there is no strong indication that there was attacks on Jobar and Qaboun, the launch site could be every green spot in the north.

    Did anybody follow the claims the video source is the same as the one of the rabbit videos? And the claims that those were fake? One could try to identify that group.

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  20. Is it possible to get the launch angle out of the video? By this we could see which could be the right distance from launch site to impact site.

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  21. Replies
    1. Sasa, your blog is starting to be attacked by spammers / "search engine optimizer". Just shows that it is quite in Google ranking. :-)

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  22. Can anyone explain the unusual fin design of the UMLACA in the video. It does not appear to be the same as the rockets found in Zamalka. Six fins at Zamalka, possibly four here? Even taking in too acount for bad light/shade these are different rockets or rocket.

    It could prove that these where not the rockets used in the 21 august chemical attacks. It may also show if the videos where fake it was a bad fake attempt or that the video is not a fake just another attack?

    Also the UMLACA seems to be a US army and navy designed fuel air explosive rocket from the 1970's crudely modified.. it was a 'Surface-Launched Unit, Fuel-Air Explosive or SLUFAE used for mine clearing. Sorry if this has been coveres else where.

    many thanks

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, Joseph.

      In 0:22 in the second video the shades clearly indicate 4 fins are visible to the camera, which would make 6 fins overall, as found in Zamalka.

      The connection to the SLUFAE design was indeed discussed. Currently it seems more like a coincidence, with all 3 Volcano versions being standard rockets with an oversized warhead.

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    2. Re the fins, I had earlier commented on a discrepancy, here, and got a reply from Sasa Wawa here.

      The difference in appearance of the fins (between UMLACA/Volcanos and the armament in the Liwa videos) was attributed to "shadows" by Sasa.

      Here is a selection of screen-captures from the Liwa enhanced video. The light source and other shadows do not support the claim that the 'cut-outs' are an artifact of photography.

      1. Differing fin design or shadow?
      2. Differing fin design or shadow?

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    3. I think it's pretty clear from the first image you attached that we see 4 fins. two perpendicular to the camera, and 2 at an angle which causes them to receive less light. That is exactly what you'd expect to see with a 6 fin structure (60 degrees between each two).

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