A militant faction in Syria said it has come up with a smartphone application that improves the accuracy of strikes and helps fighters calculate which weapon best suits the battle objective.
The Islamic Front, one of the largest militant umbrella groups operating in Syria, said it devised an app dubbed The Power of the Strike, to help fighters calculate artillery attacks.
The hard-line group, reportedly backed by Saudi Arabia, has taken credit for tunnel bombs and other remote-controlled explosions.
The front's media unit released a video recently that it said demonstrated the app in action. Video showed fighters selecting targets on a map, then cycling through a menu of weapons, both conventional and improvised. An engineer explains that the app specifies margins of error and corrections for the user to adjust the projectile's trajectory.
Although the app theoretically allows a fighter to choose among many weapons, most militants rely almost exclusively on home-made mortars, makeshift cannons and salvaged artillery equipment, all of which have proved to be wildly inaccurate. Militant mortar strikes in Damascus and elsewhere routinely kill and wound civilians.
The more than three-year Syrian conflict that has cost more than 100,000 lives and left the nation in ruins, according to the United Nations.
Syrian state media reported Wednesday that militant mortar attacks killed four people and wounded 30 others in Damascus. Two shells struck near Umayyad Square in the heart of the Syrian capital, the official news agency reported.
Nabih Bulos is a special correspondent in Beirut. He is on assignment in Iraq.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
1:33 p.m.: This story was updated to reflect state media reports of rebel strikes Wednesday.
This post was originally published at 12:07 p.m.