Iran made a ridiculous excuse after shooting itself with a failed ballistic missile

Iranian media screenshotIran fires missiles at targets in Syria.
  • Iran on Monday fired a barrage of ballistic missiles at what it called terrorist militants in Syria, but Kurds in Iran’s northeast reported soon after that they had been struck by one of the missiles.
  • In response, Iranian semiofficial media offered a counterfactual excuse.
  • Iranian media basically said they meant to drop a big rocket motor on a field in Kurdish territory, and fudged the physics on how such an exercise could be possible.

Iran on Monday fired a barrage of ballistic missiles at what it called terrorist militants in Syria, but Kurds in Iran’s northwest reported soon after that they had been struck by one of the missiles.

In response, Iranian semiofficial media offered a computer animation of a counterfactual excuse: The explosion near the launch site, they said, amounted to rocket boosters landing as normal, rather than an embarrassing blunder.

Iranian state media announced Iran had launched the missiles and released video from Kermanshah in the country’s northwest, where its Kurdish minority lives. Open source intelligence analysts corroborated the launch site in Kermanshah based on imagery analysis.

Iran said it had targeted militants in Albu Kamal, clear across Iraq just on the other side of the Syrian border, about 370 miles west. Islamist militants, including the last pockets of ISIS fighters, have been known to inhabit this area of Syria.

Kermanshah launch mapGoogle MapsClear across Iraq.

But at a farm just outside of Kermanshah, still inside Iran, a massive rocket came crashing down, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan reported on Twitter. While the blast killed no one, it reportedly destroyed a farm while demonstrating that Iran’s missile forces can’t be trusted.

Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency then released a video claiming that a rocket booster had landed in the field. It used an animation showing a fictional missile flight path and a rocket booster landing peacefully and softly in a field.

Check out the video below:

Why it makes no sense

In reality, Iran’s shorter-range ballistic missiles need to take their boosters with them almost to the very end of their flight path.

Ballistic missiles have rocket boosters called “stages” that spend fuel and fall off in flight as the warhead separates and heads back down. For safety, because the stages may still hold some fuel in some stage of combustion, they sometimes deploy parachutes. For obvious reasons, it’s entirely undesirable to have a burning rocket motor smash into the ground of an unsuspecting farm.

For this reason, Iran’s excuse doesn’t make much sense. Even if the farm was only hit with a flaming rocket booster, it was still an innocent farm slammed by a burning rocket booster.

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