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Syria now firing Iranian rockets at rebel forces.

The Syrian regime last week fired at least two Iranian-made, short-range ballistic missiles in what appears to be an effort to more precisely target Syrian rebels, two US military officials told CNN.

The Fateh A-110 missiles are more accurate than the older Scud variants that Syrian government forces have used in recent weeks.

The Islamic Republic denies supplying any weaponry to the Syria government and condemns several other countries for arming rebel troops.

The Fateh trades range for accuracy. It can travel about 125 miles, while the Scud can go about 185 miles. But the Fateh has a "circular error probable" (CEP) of 330 feet, while the Scud's CEP is 1,480 feet. CEP is the radius of a circle in which half of the missiles fired at a target will fall. It is the standard measure of a missile's accuracy.

The firings did not reach near Syria's Turkish border. But the regime's use of ballistic missiles is one reason NATO is planning to send US, German and Dutch Patriot missile batteries to Turkey.

US officials say they believe the Syrians are firing ballistic missiles to preserve their aircraft, some of which have been shot down by rebels.
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Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Jan 4, 2013
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