When you’re a poor rebel faction fighting a rich and powerful dictator, I’m sure you’ll take just about all the help you get. In the Free Syrian Army’s case, they’ve been armed with basic mortars that are missing one critical feature – sights to aim at their target.
As a quick fix, some of the Syrian rebels have been seen using the iPad’s accelerometer combined with a level app to aim and launch mortars, as seen in Reuters photo above. By using a level to calculate the exact number of degrees the mortar is leaning, the rebels hope their high-tech targeting scope will give them a fighting chance, but Business Insider’s Paul Szoldra – who served in the 81mm Mortar Platoon and instructed new mortarmen while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2002 to 2010 – explains everything that’s wrong in the picture above:
“The baseplate is way too sunk in (which means they’ve been firing from that position for at least a while … every round it goes lower.) You can see the bipod in front how far forward it is.
The other thing is the elevation of the tube. It’s almost straight up. Either they are trying to kill themselves and fire a round that will land right back on top of them, or where they are shooting is extremely close to them.”
So basically the rebels are just dropping a mortar in the tube and praying it hits something other than them. Maybe it’s time someone built an app for that, although we doubt it’d ever make it through the App Store review process.