Russia’s new Sukhoi fighter jets dumping ‘dumb’ bombs on Syria

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In an age of increasingly precise munitions, Russia is almost exclusively dropping “dumb” bombs in Syria, the U.S. military said.

“They’re using mostly dumb bombs, guided only by gravity and fins,” said Army Col. Steven Warren, the top military spokesman in Baghdad, according to a report by national security correspondent Rowan Scarborough of The Washington Times.

A Russian warplane on a bombing run over Syria. /Russian Defense Ministry
A Russian warplane on a bombing run over Syria. /Russian Defense Ministry

Despite deploying advanced platforms, such as its new Sukhoi-class fighter jets, to Syria, Moscow continues to drop tons of iron bombs.

“This is not the Soviet air force in Afghanistan or the Russian air force in Georgia, but a very modernized force capable of precision attacks upon selected targets using both conventional and nuclear weapons,” said Jacob W. Kipp, a Russian military analyst.

U.S. Central Command said it exclusively uses precision-guided munitions, such as satellite-guided bombs and missiles, and ordnance directed remotely by a pilot flying a drone.

Russian media insists that gravity bombs, guided by computerized systems, can be just an accurate as those directed by a GPS system, a laser or TV optics, a contention that U.S. military and human rights groups say is ridiculous.

Meanwhile, the West has stepped up accusations that Russia is indiscriminately killing rebels and civilians alike in strategic cities such as Aleppo.

“We all saw the reports of continued indiscriminate bombing by Russian and regime forces, and even the use of barrel bombs,” Warren said. “We also saw the reports of two hospitals and a school in northern Syria being struck. This reckless disregard for civilian casualties only complicates the situation and prolongs human suffering.”

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said that the U.S. “goes to extraordinary lengths to limit the risk of civilian casualties, and in our campaign to defeat ISIL we will continue to do so.”

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