The Wall Street Journal quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying that the Syrian regime recently fired four short-range Iranian-made ballistic missiles at sites of opposition fighters, raising concern that the embattled Assad maybe turning into more dangerous weapons.
“It certainly shows more aggressive action by the Syrian regime, aided by the Iranians,” a senior U.S. official told the WSJ.
The missiles are known as the fatah-110 and are more precise than the Scud rockets currently used by the Assad’s regime. “It could be a sign of new tactics or desperation,” the official added.
He said U.S. intelligence agencies are evaluating the new missiles in terms of their precision and their scope of destruction.
In December, first reports emerged of Assad's forces using scud missiles against the opposition fighter in what observers say was a sign of desperation in the face of an increasingly emboldened opposition force.
“I can confirm that we have detected the launch of Scud-type missiles. We strongly regret that act,” NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, calling the launches “acts of a desperate regime approaching collapse.”
A NATO official told Reuters that there had been multiple launches of Scud-type missiles inside Syria on Thursday morning.
Rasmussen used the Scud launches to justify NATO’s decision to dispatch Patriot anti-missile systems to NATO ally Turkey - a deployment criticized by Syria, Iran and Russia.