The Syrian military is using Iranian-made short-range ballistic missiles, according to reports from US officials.
These officials believe the missiles used in the past few days are Fateh A-110 missiles, which are far more accurate than the Russian Scuds they were reportedly using earlier this month, according to Newser.
Scuds have an error radius of 1,480 feet, while the Fateh missiles boast just 330 feet. While they are more accurate, their accuracy is a trade-off for their distance, which is 125 miles versus the 185 mile range for Scuds, notes CNN.
While the newest missiles fired by Syria have not reached the country’s border with Turkey, NATO is still sending US, German, and Dutch Patriot missile batteries to the Turkish military to position near the border as an anti-missile defense system. The batteries are expected to be in position and operational by the end of January.
The use of Iranian missiles by Syria has not yet been confirmed by NATO, through the organization did detect their launch a few different days including on December 22. A NATO official, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated:
“The fact that Scud-type missiles were used in Syria emphasizes the need for effective defense protection of our ally Turkey. This is why, earlier this month, NATO allies decided to deploy Patriot missiles in Turkey to augment Turkey’s air defenses.”
US officials believer that Syria is firing Iranian-made and other ballistic missiles as a last-ditch effort against rebel fighters and also to preserve the military’s aircraft, some of which have been shot down by opposition fighters. The war in Syria is threatening to reach the two-year milestone with more than 45,000 casualties.