Human & Machine• DATA

Early Airstrike Warning System Helps Save Syrian Lives

Improving Syrian airstrike warning systems with technology and analytics.
Sam Kessler

HALA SYSTEMS WAS FOUNDED by a diplomat/technologist, a business entrepreneur, and a displaced Syrian coder. They had close ties and firsthand experience dealing with the horrendous and long-term impact of the Syrian civil war, which in its seventh year has killed roughly 500,000 people. Experts estimate tens of thousands of civilian deaths are a result of the indiscriminate bombing campaigns by the Syrian and Russian military. 

The team at Hala Systems intends to improve the existing air strike early warning system via technology and data analytics. Its indication and warning system, called Sentry, uses a multisensor network that generates credible, real-time, situational threat awareness in war-torn regions of the world. It’s been used in Syria’s Idlib province with great success, where it incorporated human observers, remote geospatial sensors, internet-of-things software, artificial intelligence, social media, and data algorithms to predict the likeliness of air strikes in certain places, with an average response time of eight minutes. According to a ConsenSys article from September 2018, the data recorded for every air strike is automatically saved on the Ethereum blockchain. This protects Sentry data from tampering and keeps it accessible for potential war-crimes proceedings in the future.