A TOR-1A Solntsepek multiple rocket launcher (MRL) has been observed being unloaded in Baghdad: a revelation that appears to reflect a wider effort by Iraq to rapidly acquire inexpensive, but comparatively indiscriminate weaponry to fight the Sunni militants who have taken control of much of the north and west of the country.

A Sunni opposition group called the Iraqi Revolution released photographs on 27 July of what it claimed were TOS-1 Buratino MRL systems being delivered by an Antonov An-225 transport aircraft to Baghdad the previous morning.

Only produced in small numbers, the TOS-1 is basically a T-72 tank that has had its turret replaced with an MRL that fires 220 mm rockets, which carry thermobaric warheads. The comparatively short-range system is designed to pave the way for ground assaults and was reportedly used extensively during the Russian offensive against the Chechen capital Grozny in 1999. […]