Wanton death and destruction from the sky? There’s an app for it.
According to a recent article in IHS Jane’s Defense, the Syrian Air Force uses iPad apps to help drop explosive, and sometimes chlorine-filled, barrel bombs from the rear of their aging fleet of transport helicopters.
The Syrian military’s possible use of Apple products was just one piece of information gleaned from an Al-Jazeera interview, and subsequent analysis from Jane’s Defense, with Col. Ali Aboud of the Syrian Arab Air Force. According to the article Aboud has been held by the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate–Jabhat al-Nusra–since his Mi-14 helicopter crashed in March. He was allowed to do the interview from captivity.
When it comes to dropping barrel bombs, Aboud says that the helicopter pilots fly at 5,000 meters — close to the maximum altitude of the aircraft to avoid air defenses—and use iPad applications to help calculate “wind speed, aircraft speed and their distance from the target to ensure accurate bombing results.” Additionally, he denied having dropped chlorine-filled barrel bombs himself, but said that Syrian President Bashir al-Assad’s regime dropped them on areas “completely controlled by opposition groups.”