Bellingcat

Thursday, 23 May 2013

DIY Weapons In Syria - The Hell Cannon

Throughout the conflict in Syria there's been a variety of new DIY weapons appearing every so often, from DIY catapults in the early days of the conflict to more recently DIY grenade launchers.

Recently a new weapon has appeared that offers a very different level of firepower compared to the majority of DIY weapons seen so far


This is what's been dubbed as the "Hell Cannon" by the group who built it, Ahrar al-Shamal (not to be confused with Ahrar al-Sham), and it's something they seem particularly proud of, even producing this handy spec sheet


Here's a translation
Name: Hell
Function: Explosive barrel Cannon
Specifications:It can fire more than fifteen types of shells that weigh more than forty kilograms. It also has two locally-made rocket launchers (Rohingya).
Range: 1.5 kilometers.
Effectiveness: Up to 200 square meters.
Projectile: Propane gas cylinder.
Cost of the shell: 15000 Syrian Pounds.
Country of Origin: Syria
Manufacture: Ahrar Al-Shamal Battalions.
You'll note the projectile is a propane gas cylinder, which would make this the most powerful non-IED DIY weapon used in the conflict so far.  Ahrar al-Shamal has produced this promotional video that shows the Hell Cannon being constructed


In the above video we see a short segment where the explosive fill for the gas cylinders is being produced, and we get a good shot of one of the components, 33% ammonium nitrate fertilizer, a popular choice for powerful DIY explosives


It actually appears there's more than one Hell Cannon, with at least two versions pictured below



You'll note on the rear of the Hell Cannon there's actually two positions for DIY rockets to be launched from.  According to the Hell Cannon's manufacturers, the rockets are know at Rohingya, which happens to be the name of a Muslim minority people facing persecution in Mynamar.

As impressive as the Hell Cannon looks it's not worth much if it's not used in combat, and recent footage from the Brick Factory and Youth Camp battles (more details of which can be found here) shows the Hell Cannon in action.  In the case of the Youth Camp battle recent footage show that the Youth Camp has now been overrun by opposition forces, so it's likely Hell Cannon will now be focused on the Brick Factory.

Related Articles
More Details Of Air-To-Air Missiles Used As Surface-To-Surface Missiles
Video Footage Of Air-To-Air Missiles Being Used As Surface-To-Surface Missiles In Syria
DIY Weapons In Syria - The Mobile Mortar Battery
DIY Weapons In Syria - The DIY Grenade Launcher
Unexploded Cluster Bomblets Repurposed As DIY Rocket Warheads
Unexploded Cluster Bomblets Repurposed As DIY Mortar Bombs
Unexploded Bombs Used In A Truck Bomb By Jabhat al-Nusra

You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at brownmoses@gmail.com

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