A Scud missile displayed in Raqqa, Syria, this week by ISIS is “more propaganda than operational” – meaning it is unlikely to pose a military threat – U.S. counterterrorism officials tell NBC News
The missile was photographed in the town square of Raqqa, which ISIS has declared the capital of its “caliphate,” and carried ISIS markings and slogans. Shown on the back of a truck -- without a launcher -– it closely resembled short-range Scuds used by Iraq in the Gulf War and by Syrian government forces in the civil war. The photos were tweeted using accounts friendly to ISIS, and the officials said they appear to show an actual missile, as opposed to an inflatable decoy.
One official said it was “far more likely” that the Scud was of Syrian origin, noting that Iraq was forced to destroy its Scuds under U.N. supervision more than a decade ago. In order to launch it, the terror group would need maintenance personnel, fuel, a refueling vehicle (Scuds use highly volatile liquid fuel rather than stable solid fuel) and skilled operators, the official said.
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-- Robert Windrem
First published July 1 2014, 5:49 PM