Thomas Wictor

Video: Do the Kurds have a new guided rocket-propelled grenade?

Video: Do the Kurds have a new guided rocket-propelled grenade?

Watch this video of Kurdish Peshmerga destroying an Islamic State truck bomb. The Peshmerga are the official armed forces of autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan. They aren’t the YPG or YPJ militias.

The video is important for several reasons. First, it shows that two MILAN antitank guided missiles were fired but missed the truck. Since sound travels at 1129 feet (344 meters) per second, we know that the truck was 1694 feet (516 meters) away. This shows you how hard it is to operate a wire-guided semi-automatic command to line of sight (SACLOS) missile.

In comparison to the video of the Kurds firing their MILAN missiles, this gunner guided his American BGM-71 TOW over 4.8 miles (7.8 kilometers).

That’s why I believe that the long-range missile shots in Syria are being carried out by Arab special forces using modified weapons that have a new propulsion system and thermobaric warheads. It takes a lot of training to be proficient with an antitank guided missile (ATGM). As brave as the Kurds are, they haven’t had the luxury of years to hone their craft on modern weaponry. The main reason is that Baghdad prohibited the Peshmerga from receiving advanced technology.

Back to the truck-bomb video.

The first MILAN is fired (red arrow).


It misses.


The second MILAN is fired (red arrow).


It misses.


Now we have to rewind so that I can point out two Peshmerga (red arrows).


They’re armed with rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers.


As far as anybody knows, these are unguided munitions. They have a maximum range of 1000 yards (920 meters). The Islamic State truck bomb was 1694 feet (516 meters), or about half the range of an RPG-7. However, hitting a fast-moving target from that distance would require unbelievable skill. The gunner has to estimate wind and the “lead time,” meaning how far in front of the target he must aim in order for the truck to drive into the flying projectile.

Even with the PGO-7 telescopic sight, the maximum effective range is 500 meters. The truck bomb was beyond that.

The commander of the unit had to take the dust cap off the gunner’s launcher.


An RPG launcher has front and back dust caps that you must remove before loading and firing.


Since the gunner forgot to take off the dust cap, it would seem that he’s not a veteran with lots of experience.

When an RPG is fired, the back blast from the rear of the launcher can kill a person. It can literally tear off your head. But look how everyone is crowded around this gunner.


Nobody would stand behind an RPG gunner unless they knew he wasn’t going to fire. Yet he appears to be aiming his weapon.

Then he lowers it and fiddles around. His attitude is that of someone punching in numbers.


As the Islamic State truck bomb gets dangerously close to the Kurdish position in the distance, a special operator behind the gunner throws up his arms, as if to say, “COME ON!”


At that precise moment, the second RPG gunner fires.


The RPG gunner who fired the round lowers his weapon and watches, while the first gunner (red arrow) stands stock still.


According to the chart below, it would take about 2.5 seconds for an RPG to travel 516 or so meters.


In the video, the Islamic State truck bomb explodes about 2.5 seconds after the gunner fires.


But then look what happens: Everyone runs to congratulate the first RPG gunner, not the guy who made the actual shot.


Why would they do that?

I love video from Syria

Well, the only thing I can think of that explains this video is a guided-munition delivery mode called “Lock-on Before Launch” (LOBL). You illuminate a target with a laser beam that tells the munition everything it needs to know. Then you “fire and forget.” The munition is locked on to the target and will follow it unless it’s jammed.

It would be easy to mount a laser target marker on top of a rifle or an RPG launcher to camouflage the actual function of the device.


Does anyone make a precision-guided RPG?

No idea. But Raytheon just unveiled the laser-guided Pike miniature missile, meant to be fired by a rifleman from a grenade launcher.



Clearly the technology exists to make a precision-guided RPG. If a two-man squad used one, the guy who illuminated the target would be the one responsible for the hit. I think that’s why in the video of the truck bomb being destroyed, the first RPG “gunner” is the one being patted on the back.

Baghdad, the Turks, and Iran are standing in the way of an independent Kurdistan. On June 4, 2015, former Saudi National Security Adviser General Anwar Eshki announced that Saudi Arabia would push for the creation of Kurdistan. It didn’t get much press for some reason. I don’t know why. The world ignores Saudi Arabia at its own peril. The Saudis are working on getting out of the oil business, and they want the Middle East to be an attractive place for startups, banking, entrepreneurs, and tourism.

So the Saudis are in the process of killing everybody who threatens the stability of the region. Though clearly it’s in the interest of Saudi Arabia to have the stabilizing influence of Kurdistan, there’s more to it than that. I think the Saudis admire the Kurds for their courage. The messages I get from Saudis express mortification at what Islamic Arabs have wrought. They hate the savagery, and they want it to end.

We’ve been saying for ages that Arabs and Muslims should step up and join the fight against violent jihadism. Well, it’s happening. I don’t think most of you can appreciate the commitment that the Arab League has made in this war. You don’t hear about it because the region is a powder keg, and discretion is the better part of valor.

But if the precision-guided RPG is real, someone had to make it and then provide it along with instructors. Raytheon works with the Israeli firm Rafael all the time. The Pike mini missile exists; I see no reason why Israel can’t have invented a precision-guided RPG and given it to the Arab League, who passed it on to the Kurds.

It sure fixed that Islamic State truck bomb, didn’t it?


Israel, the Arab League, and the Kurds on one side; Iran, Hezbollah, the Islamic State, and al-Qaeda on the other.

Care to take bets on who’s going to win?


This guy is an Emirati special operator.


He’s armed with a Belgian Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal FN Minimi machine gun with a 200-round box. That’s not a Peshmerga weapon.

Also, as soon as the RPG is fired, look what he does.


Therefore he knew that the RPG would hit, and he knew that giant chunks of metal were about to drop on everyone’s head. He’s a professional warrior.

The Emiratis gave the Peshmerga the precision-guided RPG.