U.S. Used Missile With Long Blades to Kill Qaeda Leader in Syria

American Special Operations forces used a specially designed secret missile to kill the head of a Qaeda affiliate in Syria this month….

American and Qaeda officials said on Wednesday that Khaled al-Aruri, the de facto leader of the Qaeda branch, called Hurras al-Din, perished in a drone strike in Idlib in northwest Syria on June 14. He was a Qaeda veteran whose jihadist career dates to the 1990s….

The modified Hellfire missile carried an inert warhead. Instead of exploding, it hurled about 100 pounds of metal through the top of Mr. al-Aruri’s car. If the high-velocity projectile did not kill him, the missile’s other feature almost certainly did: six long blades tucked inside, which deployed seconds before impact to slice up anything in its path.

Sounds brutal, but developed “under pressure from President Barack Obama to reduce civilian casualties and property damage.” The inert warhead and blades do less damage than explosives.

In an era when it seems the US can’t do anything right, it’s good to know we still excel at killing people.

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner