The journey of two senior Al Qaeda-aligned commanders in northwestern Syria on Sunday was suddenly cut short by a targeted U.S.-led strike — only it doesn’t appear that they were killed by explosives, but a missile packed with knives.
Video of the aftermath circulating on social media shows that the vehicle of the terrorist leaders – Jordanian Qassam ul-Urdini and Yemeni Bilal al-Sanaani – was mostly untouched, with just one side severed and the roof smashed in, prompting defense analysts to point to the use of a “secret” missile jointly developed by both the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
It is a variation of the Hellfire anti-tank missile, referred to as the R9X, and internally called the “Flying Ginsu” or the “ninja bomb,” and it just might drastically shape the way war is waged given its exactitude and subsequent ability to vastly reduce the risk of collateral damage and civilian casualties.
“The Hellfire R9X missile is a modified version of the Hellfire anti-tank missile, the likes of which have been featured on America drones like the Reaper and Predator. The reference to knives is no accident, as it features multiple steel blades that emerge from the missile moments before impact,” Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) told Fox News. “The result is a much smaller kill radius, which can limit the damage caused by the missile to the intended target area. Such a feature is increasingly needed for counterterrorism campaigns, where the fighting is closer-in, and the environment around the target is more dense and likely to be filled with non-combatants.”