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6-bladed US ‘ninja’ missile that minces victims reportedly shreds 2 jihadists near al-Baghdadi hit

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An airstrike conducted in northwestern Syria has reportedly left two targets dead at the hands of the deadly “ninja” missile, otherwise known as the AGM-114R9X, a device that uses a set of six folding blades, meant to go through buildings and leave behind minimal civilian casualties.

The strike was reportedly carried out in Atmeh, which is five miles from the Turkish border and less than 10 miles away from where al-Baghdadi was killed.

There has been no official report on the identities of the two individuals killed, both of whom were inside a vehicle, but Daily Mail is reporting that one target is suspected to be Abu Ahmad al-Muhajir, a member of Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, which is an offshoot of Al Qaeda.

Grisly pictures of the minivan hit by the “ninja” missile, which was developed by the CIA, have circulated on social media and show the definitive and concise destruction the device can leave behind.

Below is a video believed to be of the van following the strike (warning: the video is extremely graphic):

What the images and video show is that the “ninja” missile is a capable substitute from more traditional military explosive devices as the van is left relatively intact. Traditional missiles engulf the area surrounding targets, which can lead to unnecessary civilian casualties and property destruction.

The U.S. has not confirmed responsibility for the attack, but The Sun is reporting that local outlets are crediting the attack to U.S forces.

“The international Coalition carried out an air strike near Atmeh, northwestern Idlib, apparently with the R9X Hellfire missile, which does not have an explosive charge. The areas is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham,” tweeted Elizabeth Tsurkov, along with images, who is a Fellow in the Middle East Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

The “ninja” missile, which has reportedly been used sparingly by the military, is flown over a target by a Reaper drone. They are then dropped and the device locks onto its target. As it drops, it releases its six blades, which can cut through vehicles and buildings. The device contains no explosive payload but instead uses the blades to cause its destruction.

The R9X has also been referred to as the “flying Ginsu.”

The missile was reportedly put into development in 2011 and many have theorized it was used in an attack on Abu Khayr Al Masri in 2017. Al Masri was Al Qaeda’s number two leader at the time. The attack was around 30 miles south of where the new strike took place.

For more on the “ninja” missile, check out the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sXiFQFjBfE

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