'Spiked Ammo' Is One Of Assad's Dirtier Tricks In Syria's Civil War

The New York Times C.J. Chivers is in Syria and he’s stumbled upon an age-old tactic that’s having a devastating effect on Syrian rebel forces.

It’s called “spiked ammunition,” and features a concoction of powder inside a bullet that causes that bullet to explode once the rifle firing pin strikes the round.

As Chivers points out, it’s maiming Syrians and destroying their weapons. Not only are fighters left unable to pull a trigger, but their hard-sought after weapons are destroyed in the process.

Truly a brutal tactic, and not one that’s localised to just Bashar Al Assad and Syria. It was a U.S. tactic in World War II, reports Chivers, and spiked rounds even found their way into the hands of U.S. Blackwater contractors in Iraq.


C.J. Chivers is the award winning author of “The Gun.” He is a former U.S. Marine infantry officer and military small-arms expert.

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