Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 16, 2018

Syria - Pentagon Hides Attack Failure - 70+ Cruise Missiles Shot Down

The U.S. military seems to hide that its attack on Syria last Saturday largely failed. We checked the numbers and sources and said so in our weekly review published yesterday. This post is extending yesterday's analysis.

The U.S. attack on Saturday was launched as revenge for an alleged 'chemical attack' by the Syrian government forces against the then 'rebel' held Damascus suburb Douma. The alleged 'chemical attack' never happened but was theater staged by the 'rebels' and their supporters after some people suffocated in a collapsed building.

There is a very large discrepancy between the Russian Ministry of Defense report of the strike as well as other sources and the description in the Pentagon briefing on the strike. According to the Pentagon only three places related to a nonexistent Syrian chemical weapon program were targeted:

This combined military strike was directed against three distinct Syrian chemical weapons program targets.
...
We are confident that all of our missiles reached their targets.
...
In summary, in a powerful show of allied unity, we deployed 105 weapons against three targets.

One hundred and five weapons against three targets would be a remarkable overkill. Just consider that the U.S. Tomahawk and JASSM cruise missiles and the British Skalp EG cruise missiles used in these attacks carry 450 kilogram (~1,000 pounds) of high explosives each. Did the U.S. military really plan to use 15 metric tons of high explosives against each target. That would be enough to blow up a whole town.

The U.S. claims it sent 76 cruise missiles against the non-hardened, non-defended Barzeh research center. This was a small two story building complex and had just recently been declared free of chemical weapons and weapon research by the OPCW.


Barzeh Research center before and after - bigger

Sure, the facility is destroyed. But by 34 tons of high explosives? Or by maybe 2 tons?

The Barzeh center was a civilian facility next to a densely populated suburb of Damascus. It was concerned with agricultural and medical research, not with chemical weapons. The U.S. certainly knew that from the recent OPCW report. The U.S. claim that it was a chemical weapons facility is ridiculous as it would (hopefully) never consider attacking a real chemical weapons facility in the middle of a civilian population center. That would be mass murder and a serious war crime.

The Pentagon also claims it hit two undefended military storage facilities near the Lebanese border. It says that those three were the only targets of its attack.

But on April 12, two days before the strikes, CNBC reported that the Pentagon planned to attack eight targets:

[A] source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told CNBC the U.S. was considering striking eight potential targets. Those targets include two Syrian airfields, a research center and a chemical weapons facility.

The strikes commenced on April 14 between about 1:00 and 2:30 UTC, 4.00am to 5:30am local time in Damascus. At 7:00am local time (4:00 UTC) journalist Danny Makki reported from Damascus:

Danny Makki @Dannymakkisyria - 4:06 UTC - 14 Apr 2018

Thread: Here’s how the U.S led strikes on #Syria developed from here in the Capital #Damascus in the early hours of this morning

  1. At around 4.30 Damascus time I awoke to initial large sounds of over 10 rocket attacks, it immediately was clear from the types of missile being heard that it was a Western Attack conducted by the #U.S #France & #U.K
  2. The strikes were heard clearly in all parts of the Capital and continued on and off for a duration of 50 minutes, Syrian state media reported the strikes but didn’t provide information as to the locations
  3. All In all over 50 different strikes were heard or reported in different locations around #Damascus
  4. The strikes had targeted a number of military sites across Damascus and further north in #Syria reportedly in #Hama & #Homs
  5. Barzeh research facility which sits on the Eastern stretch of #Damascus was hit by numerous missiles
  6. #Jamraya was reportedly hit as well, from my current location which is quite close to the site its clear something big was hit in Western #Damascus , the last barrage shook the neighborhood im In to the core
  7. Mezzeh Military airport was reportedly struck as well (...)
  8. A research facility in #Masyaf was reportedly attacked as well
  9. Also, a number of sources in #Homs have reported strikes with additional information that Russia air defenses participated in countering the strikes in #Homs
  10. A string of other locations have been cited as being targeted by U.S led strikes, its not clear at the moment, but it seems this attack was limited to a number of locations
    ...

It seems clear that Mr. Makki refers to more than three attacked sites.

Another source, Wael al Russi, also reported some eight targets including the coordinates of some.

The Syrian opposition outlet SOHR in Britain, which works from local sources, reports a multitude of targets:

[T]he Trio Coalition “the USA, Britain and France”, .. targeted .. the scientific research centers in Jamraya north of Damascus, and Barzeh in the north-west of the capital Damascus, arsenals of the 4th Division and the Republic Guards in the area of Al-Mazza Military Airbase, the arsenals of Al-Kiswah area in the southern countryside of the capital, and the scientific research center in the outskirts of Homs city, where the missiles fired on the latter position, fell away from the target, also violent explosions heard in the Eastern Qalamoun, while no missiles fell on Al-Dumayr and Al-Naseriyah Military Airbases.

Those are 8 targeted places or installations.

SOHR also reports that more than 65 of the 105 missiles failed to hit their targets:

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights managed to monitored interception by the regime forces to tens of missiles which targeted their positions and military bases in the Syrian territory, where several intersected sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory, that the number missiles that were downed, exceeded 65 missiles, of the total number of missiles fired by the Trio Coalition, while the air and rocket strikes, caused great material damage, while no information about casualties was reported yet.

The report of the Russian Ministry of Defense quoted below is consistent with the multitude of independent sources quoted above. The Russian briefing (video with English subtitles) was held at noon Damascus time, hours before the Pentagon issued its report. It mentions 103 cruise missiles against eight targets:


Target map from the Russian briefing - bigger
In total, 71 cruise missiles have been intercepted.
...
Four missiles targeted the Damascus International Airport; 12 missiles – the Al-Dumayr airdrome, all the missiles have been shot down.

18 missiles targeted the Blai airdrome, all the missiles shot down.

12 missiles targeted the Shayrat air base, all the missiles shot down. Air bases were not affected by the strike.

Five out of nine missiles were shot down targeting the unoccupied Mazzeh airdrome.

Thirteen out of sixteen missiles were shot down targeting the Homs airdrome. There are no heavy destructions.

In total 30 missiles targeted facilities near Barzah and Jaramana. Seven of them have been shot down.

Another Russian military briefing (Ru) (added: English transcript) given today claims the following success numbers for each type of air-defense systems the Syrian army used. It lists the numbers of cruise missiles shot down by each versus the number targeted:

  • Pantsir - 23 hits with 25 engagements, 
  • Buk-M2 - 24 of 29,
  • Osa - 5 of 13,
  • S-125 - 5 of 13,
  • Strela-10 - 3 of 5,
  • Kvadrat - 11 of 21,
  • S-200 - 0 hits with 8 launched missiles.

Pantsir and Buk-M2 are new systems, the Osa, S-125, Strela, Kvadrat and S-200 are Soviet era systems, some of which might have been partially upgraded.

Some 'expert' claims that the high number of hits the Russians assert are impossible as the systems would be overwhelmed with such a large attack. The 'expert' obviously didn't consider the relevant facts:

  • Eight geographically distinct places were targeted. The research lab had no short-range point-defense but was only covered by the older medium-range area-defense systems S-125 and S-200. The attacked storage areas had no point-defense. The military airports all had point-defense systems especially the impressive new Pantsir-1S (video) of which Syria recently received 40 units.
  • At least two Pansir-1S are stationed near each Syrian military airport. Each Pantsir has 12 missiles ready to fire and two machine cannons with 700 shots each.
  • Cruise missiles, developed from the German V-1 (vid) used in World War II, are small compared to fighter planes. But they fly relatively straight, slow and low. They are easy targets for any newer point-defense systems.

Therefore the number of eliminated cruise missiles the Russians and others claim have been downed is completely plausible.

Had the Russian air-defense area around its bases in Latakia been attacked, the excellent electronic warfare systems of the Russian military would have provided an additional layer of defense. These systems can divert cruise missiles from their path by messing up their electronic systems. The Syrian army has, to my best knowledge, no such capabilities.

The Pentagon had planned to hit eight targets in Syria two of which were research labs. Six airports or storage areas were targeted according to the Russian and other reports.

The Pentagon reports no strike on Syrian airports but claims to have launched a way too high number of cruise missiles for each of the claimed three targets it hit. Its claim that 76 missiles were used against Barzeh alone is ridiculous. The generals just added up all the failed and downed cruise missiles targeted at the well defended airfields and attributed them to Barzeh.  

At least three other sources confirm the Russian version of events. The Pentagon is lying. The attack was a U.S. attempt to disable the Syrian air force by destroying its airports. It failed miserably and the Pentagon is hiding this failure by claiming that all its cruise missiles hit the undefended targets some of its missiles reached.

The Russian briefing today (Ru) (added: English transcript) puts the finger into that wound. Will any of U.S. media follow up on it?

---
Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the 'chemical attack' in Douma and its consequences.

April 8 - Syria - Timelines Of 'Gas Attacks' Follow A Similar Scheme (Update II)
April 9 - Syria - Any U.S. Strike Will Lead to Escalation
April 11 - Syria - A U.S. Attack Would Be Futile - But Serve A Purpose - by M. K. Bhadrakumar
April 11 - Trump Asks Russia To Roll Over - It Won't
April 12 - Syria - Threat Of Large War Recedes But May Come Back
April 13 - Syria - Manipulated Videos Fail To Launch World War III - Updated
April 14 - F.U.K.U.S. Strikes Syria - Who Won?

Posted by b on April 16, 2018 at 19:36 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

As multi award winner international reporter Robert Fisk on scene states there was no chemical attack by Assad twitter goes down!

Posted by: Bill | Apr 17 2018 14:34 utc | 101

A commander in the regional military alliance that backs the Syrian government said the air defence malfunction was due to “a joint electronic attack” by Israel and the US on the radar system. Speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, he said that Russian experts had dealt with the issue.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/17/syria-missiles-fired-at-air-base-near-homs-state-tv

Posted by: Jay | Apr 17 2018 14:37 utc | 102

robert fisk is a deep state asset who clearly is not a hungry journalist.
he collects intel and is part of clean up crews he met tim osman when jason bournes and james bonds of the world where looking for him for years.
fisk on a donkey in afghanistan.

people will die because of fisk and bbc lisa doucet who is a chatham house agent.
these folks along with gabriel gatehouse jeremy bowen frank gardener are angels of death.

fisk and cockburn are polluters of the well

stick with vanessa beeley

https://southfront.org/us-reporter-visits-douma-finds-no-evidence-of-chemical-attack-video/

Posted by: simon nonesuch | Apr 17 2018 15:01 utc | 103

@61,

What is your source for that report? Can you provide a link? It is hard to know whether the theory--that the actual ballistic defense efficiency was greater than officially reported--has anything to it or is just disinformation (as I am betting) without more details and evidence etc.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 17 2018 15:14 utc | 104

Hallelujah! Now nobody fuck it up by posting a mesuthelan length link!!

Posted by: WJ | Apr 17 2018 15:15 utc | 105

@103
Does "mesuthelan" derive somehow from from Methuselah, the old guy? Or what?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 17 2018 15:22 utc | 106

@87 misa... thanks for your post...

@97 don bacon... sounds like blackwater by another name..

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2018 15:25 utc | 107

The disinformation is so deep, thick and pervasive that there is no way to discern fact from fiction. This is the fruit of Operation Mockingbird and its continuation and addendums.

Interesting that the PTB cannot keep and maintain a coherent storyline. There is no penalty for backtracking, lying, recanting, revisions...

Just move on to the next event.

Karl Rove was correct (was it 15 years ago?)
“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

Posted by: fastfreddy | Apr 17 2018 15:27 utc | 108

@104,

Yes, but I am just winging it.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 17 2018 15:38 utc | 109

OT i liked this post i just read at craig murrays site, so i am reposting it...

"Hatuey
April 17, 2018 at 16:11

Let’s get back to basics here.

If there’s 2 countries in the world that are definitely not in a position to be arguing that we need to bomb anyone in the middle east, it’s Britain and America. Jesus Christ almighty, that should be the unquestionable starting point in any discussion about human rights there. The middle east looks like World War Z because of these crackpots.

Once bustling modern cities in the middle east, with hospitals, universities, water, and everything you’d expect to find in a European city, are now crumbling lifeless carcasses because of these nutters.

War is peace for these guys. I mean that. Where we worry about war, they worry about peace. Because who is going to buy their guns and ammo if there’s peace? And that’s all they are selling. Coffee’s for closers. The more misery and division they sow, the more sales they reap."

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2018 16:03 utc | 110

https://southfront.org/saudi-arabia-claims-its-open-to-sending-troops-to-syria/

Really? Saudia Arabia sending troops to Syria?

So, now the West wants a ME regional war?

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 17 2018 16:11 utc | 111

So, if you have the technological capability, you might want to destroy incoming missiles -en route - out of the sky - before impact.

BUT as soon as possible, you'd be wise to destroy the missile launcher.

This is significant.

Any sovereign State which has not attacked any other State, has a right to defend itself against a missile attack. This defense should include the destruction of the missile launchers. Am I wrong?

Posted by: fastfreddy | Apr 17 2018 16:17 utc | 112

@108 Great comment

The US needs to find a new mission other than spreading financial and military chaos.

On the economic front, Bill Mitchell, an Australian economist, is doing some great work

MMT

""Over the last few years, it is clear that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is achieving a higher profile and the attacks are starting to come thick and fast. I see these attacks as being a positive development because it demonstrates that recognition has been achieved and a threat to mainstream ideas is now perceived by those who desire to hang on to the status quo. Hostility and attack is a stage in the process of a new set of ideas becoming accepted, ultimately. Clearly, some new interventions never receive acceptance because they are proven to be flawed in one way or another. But I doubt the body of work that is now known as MMT will be discarded quite so easily given my assessment that is is coherent, logically consistent and grounded in a strong evidence base.""

Posted by: financial matters | Apr 17 2018 16:21 utc | 113

I can't see this new story has been posted.

US Says Russia 'Hacked' Syrian Attack Evidence As Russia Finds Rebel Chemical Weapon Lab
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-17/us-now-says-russia-hacked-syrian-chemical-attack-evidence

Posted by: Emily | Apr 17 2018 16:23 utc | 114

@106,

"Interesting that the PTB cannot keep and maintain a coherent storyline.
There is no penalty for backtracking, lying, recanting, revisions."

All that is required for the defeat of propaganda is historical memory.
Hence, one purpose of the media--particularly the so-called news-cycle--
is to destroy historical memory. This is done in several ways.

1. The destruction of historical memory is "performed" by the media itself. This
is what the Guardian does when it publishes six breathless Skripal stories on
six successive days no one of which is consistent with the details of any other,
but all of which tell us "Russia did it, Russia did it, Russia did it."

2. This destruction is then effected in the minds of the media audience
as the inevitable cognitive result of their daily exposure to its "news."
People who watch the news are people being daily reindoctrinated
into a present that is cut off from and independent of anything that
happened in the past--whether fifty years ago, ten years ago, or even
yesterday.

3. This is why, for example, the media and its audience, while being able to
acknowledge that the intelligence agencies lied in 2001-2003 for the sake
of a predetermined war, are unable or unwilling to accede that this truth is
relevant to our situation *today*. Because "today" is somehow always
self-standing and unique. The truth of "today" is never related to the
recent and more distant historical past as its complex analogue and consequence.

4. Because propaganda is not about truth but about current state-corporate interests
it requires the destruction of any historical memory strong enough to test today's propaganda
against the measure of the past so as to arrive at a true (or more nearly true) understanding
of present politics.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 17 2018 16:24 utc | 115

@109 What the Saudi Foreign Minister means is he will send a few troops but only if the US troops stay. Saudi troops won't last 5 minutes without US back up.

Donald's idea that Arab troops will replace the 'coalition' is ridiculous unless he wants to give the area back to the Syrian Government.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/trumps-misguided-plan-for-stabilizing-syria/

Posted by: dh | Apr 17 2018 16:25 utc | 116

T/U, dh @ 114 re: clarifying this latest US pipe dream.

I figured the US would pay for transporting the takfiris, jihadists, ISIS, etc. etc. -- whomever they can pay to fight in Syria-- to someplace for training, maybe by Eric Prince's company, then get them in to Syria in SA uniforms.

Would take a lot of counterfit passports, ID's, but the CIA can handle that.

May this not happen.

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 17 2018 16:49 utc | 117

Trump's "plan" for replacing illegal Outlaw US Empire troops with equally illegal Saudi troops--or did he mean the Saudi terrorists already onsite--is inane to da max and further reinforces his Dotard descriptor. I see Craig Murray agrees with my Orwellized descriptor @58, although he calls it "Goebbels Land."

But, what would happen if North and South Korea declare Peace and tell the Outlaw US Empire to get lost?

No more need to speculate if Russia would dump billions in T-Bills, although the amount so far isn't as spectacular as many wish.

Meanwhile, yet another chemical weapons warehouse facility was discovered in the tunnels under Douma. If you've yet to take a look into those massive catacombs, I'm reposting the link to the video of them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2018 16:52 utc | 118

@1 dh:

"I don't know who to believe about the missile success rate. Will we ever know? But the before and after pictures look like what could happen to an empty presidential palace if we get another 'gas attack'."

Well, take it from someone who has been following this for several years, thoroughly.We know already who the serial liars are. . .From their actions. And, their native language is not Russian.

Posted by: kgw | Apr 17 2018 16:55 utc | 119

@117 It's a thought but they will still need US backup if only in the form of Eric Prince and his gang. Strange as it may sound I think Donald is serious about getting the US out of Syria. He'll never be allowed to do it of course.

Posted by: dh | Apr 17 2018 16:58 utc | 120

@119 "We know already who the serial liars are...."

Thank you. Indeed we do. I'm certainly skeptical about the US 100% success claim but I'm still waiting for conclusive evidence of the number of Tomahawks shot down.

Posted by: dh | Apr 17 2018 17:05 utc | 121

fastfreddy says:

Interesting that the PTB cannot keep and maintain a coherent storyline

they don't have to. the psychosis of the state, its unwritten manifestos, its bent cultural inculcations, is running at full tide, unrestrained and seemingly immune to resistance, of which there is very little anyway. wonder why suicides and military suicides in particular are at unprecedented levels? they represent the brunt of the 0.01's psychotic sop. dreck that's macerating extracellular wholesomeness, as mutant foodstuff, contaminated water, and poison air macerate the cells themselves. ignorance of and fatigue from these things are deviously interrelated to unsound blueprints, false road maps, and further blurred with more corporate sanctioned chemicals to nurture the incessant, pestilent, psychotic creepage working its black magic.

it's the mother of all trance parties.

Posted by: john | Apr 17 2018 17:08 utc | 122

Pantsir - 23 hits with 25 engagements, = 92%
Buk-M2 - 24 of 29, = 82%
Osa - 5 of 13, = 17%
S-125 - 5 of 13, = 17%
Strela-10 - 3 of 5, = 60%
Kvadrat - 11 of 21, = 52%
S-200 - 0 hits with 8 launched missiles. = 0%

the Russians (or Syrians or whoever) are saying that legacy strategic AA systems are not efficient, not even after upgrade. The Syrians allegedly shot down Zionist's F-16 with S-200. But S-200 and s-125 are high altitude systems, Kvadrat is medium-range yet they have success on terrain-hugging missiles!? Puzzling to say at least. I expect a buying-frenzy on Pantsirs and Buks after they got "Battle Tested" label.

"Therefore the number of eliminated cruise missiles the Russians and others claim have been downed is completely plausible."

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/Tomahawk_Serbia_01.jpg

This what's look like downed Tomahawk. Although I tend to believe this is malfunctioned (or an unexploded one) missile, nevertheless, if you know for a site with the photos of Tomahawk's remnants which hit Syria's proper let me know.

Posted by: partisan | Apr 17 2018 17:14 utc | 123

118

That fancy tunnel looks like "Made In USA". Very impressive.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Apr 17 2018 17:53 utc | 124

@102 Jay,

I am not sure I buy the radar-malfunction story. There were several different Lebanese twitter accounts reporting military jet activity above Lebanon; there were several different Syrian twitter accounts--including WithinSyriablog and Waelalrussi--that reported attacks on at least one airstrip; there were a couple accounts reporting sirens in Damascus; and then there were several accounts later reporting a loud explosion in the Golan Heights and even news reports of Israeli troop alerts in the area. Either *every one of these accounts* was false, or *something* happened last night over the southern skies of Syria that was more than just a radar malfunction.

If it *was* the Israelis, I don't have to point out that it's in Russia's interest to deny the attack. Israel knows that Putin's measured interest in good relations is not always politically popular back home. Any actual recognized Israeli strike against Russian (and not just Syrian) interests would create a lot of pressure upon Putin to respond. And Putin is not stupid enough to respond directly to Israeli military provocation, which means that Israel is free to fuck around so long as Syria can't predictably strike Israeli jets. The event could bear on the recent mention of possibly supplying S-300s to Syria, and could bear on it in several ways, assuming there *was* an event, which is now officially being denied.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 17 2018 17:57 utc | 125

The weirdest and most disturbing report about the attack on the Barzah research facility in Syria, from asiasentinel.com, the story that the "chemical weapons" plant was built fro funds which a came from the magical $230 million dollars that William Browder, claimed was stolen in the tax theft against Hermitage Capital, The story is full of words like "appears","potentially linked", "alleged" etc. and provides an map in which the US treasury shows Browder's imaginary money flow from the non-existent theft. Now I have seen everything, how does this bullshit-artist keep popping up where you least expect.

https://www.asiasentinel.com/politics/russia-funded-syrias-destroyed-chemical-weapons-complex/

Posted by: Stroppy Aussie | Apr 17 2018 17:59 utc | 126

Brilliant plan to put saudi in to replace us troops, let the locals duke it out for themselves.

Posted by: Bill | Apr 17 2018 18:01 utc | 127

@15 by Christian Chuba

JASSM missiles are not "fancy new" missiles at all. They were used to bomb Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia during the 1999 Kosovo War. Five were used in that incident, which the US claimed to be a mistake. Four exploded, and one didn't. So, even if they are "fancy new", China definitely has at least one for almost ten years.

Posted by: Xing Chen | Apr 17 2018 18:09 utc | 128

Donald essentially wants to get the hell out of Syria. That is why he went the North Korea 2.0 way. And that was to exhaust the military option. You do that by flipping out your weapon and measuring whose is longer. And they found out that his wasn't long enough, ah well he flipped his back in again. And now is looking to the next option and asking, hey you guys with crude oil filled heads, you got any troops to spare?

And those guys would stir the crude oil in their heads a bit and go, Dah Doc we got some guys in uniform here but they all must take a nap in the afternoon would that be OK? Donald would reply, fuck you and whatever and I am a gonna get the hell outta here.

That would leave just a teanie wienie problem of Israel, but heck, Donald has so many other disasters to cultivate, he ain't got the time.

Posted by: meme | Apr 17 2018 18:09 utc | 129

Another broken link by a moron destroys a post.

Posted by: Exasperated | Apr 17 2018 18:23 utc | 130

These skirmishes (not skirmishes to those who live or die because of them), even ones that are war crimes, as this was, seem to me to be in large part ways in which the major powers test out their combat systems. I would think the Pentagon would like to test the Russian defense systems, and the Russians can't be completely sorry they got the opportunity to see how those new systems worked under operational conditions. The winners are the arms manufacturers. The losers are everybody else.

Posted by: Valtin | Apr 17 2018 18:36 utc | 131


HD @ 74.

"I just got done watching Lavrov's interview on Hard Talk, which was painful. It's deja vu all over again for anyone who remembers MSM tactics in 2002-2003."

Very painful indeed. I watched it all through and wished I hadn't.

But it's indicative. No BBC interviewer would normally be that unprofessional. I've got used to BBC presenters moving well clear of the neutral zone but this was out of the ordinary. The interviewer would not have been permitted to employ that attack dog approach were there not a strong consensus behind it.

That aggressive and bull-headed consensus is what we've also seen in the Commons and in public statements. I've seen a little of American TV recently and it's equally strong there.

We've been thwarted in the Ukraine, knocked back in Syria, and R2P is losing the little hold it had. Do we, in this extraordinary BBC interview, see a hint of desperation on the part of our rulers and mentors?

Posted by: English Outsider | Apr 17 2018 18:51 utc | 132

@Xing Chen 128

That would be nearly twenty years...really not so "fancy new".

Posted by: BillHunt | Apr 17 2018 19:02 utc | 133

@Xing Cheng 128 @BillHunt 133

Chinese Embassy was a JDAM, a guided bomb
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Direct_Attack_Munition

Syria was a JASSM, a missile
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-158_JASSM

Posted by: Jay | Apr 17 2018 19:23 utc | 134

@133

OMG, I'm truly embarrassed for such an error, considering my math is very good actually. Thanks a lot, and I'm truly appreciated.

Posted by: Xing Chen | Apr 17 2018 19:34 utc | 135

WJ @115 Sorry, I forgot what I was going to say... :)

Oh ya, well said - thanks!

Posted by: xLemming | Apr 17 2018 19:40 utc | 136

@ partisan | Apr 17, 2018 1:14:16 PM | 123

Osa - 5 of 13, = 17%
S-125 - 5 of 13, = 17%

it is actually 38%

5 of 13 = 38%

Posted by: ex-SA | Apr 17 2018 19:42 utc | 137

@WJ 125

Israel now admits last week attack on that Iranian base inside Syria. Maybe they tell us about this one, too ;-)
https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/israel-admits-to-syria-strike-in-first-we-hit-live-iranian-targets-1.6007914

Allegedly Israel has the capability to hack enemy radar (like they did in 2007), it's probably a stretch to think the Syrians were seeing something that wasn't there. https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=3702807&page=1

I've seen the post by Wael, he reports two hits near ammo depots no pictures
https://twitter.com/WaelAlRussi/status/986036015809822720. I think I've only seen that one picture https://twitter.com/WaelAlRussi/status/985076529960013824

Posted by: Jay | Apr 17 2018 19:42 utc | 138

John @122 Nicely said too... and you're right... the West has become "the mother of all trance parties", and I'm still looking for the girl with the white rabbit tattoo...

Posted by: xLemming | Apr 17 2018 19:52 utc | 139

Is it only a joke that the US built the caverns under Douma? If not, how mammoth are the caves beneath the US that the Deep State's dug?

Posted by: Charles R | Apr 17 2018 19:58 utc | 140

Charles R

great question! i guess we can barely imagine.

Posted by: john | Apr 17 2018 20:24 utc | 141

Where is the wreckage of all of these downed cruise missiles?

Posted by: Skeptical Sam | Apr 17 2018 21:04 utc | 142

Charles R @140--

There's Cheyenne Mountain and NORAD for starters plus all those missile silo complexes. And beneath DC there's likely a labyrinth besides the Metro, some of it known. Underground, domed city designed to last for at least a generation to outlast nuclear winter? But that wouldn't matter if earth's atmosphere was burned/blown away by the massive nuclear fire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2018 21:08 utc | 143

jawbone @111:

Saudi Arabia sending troops to Syria?   They can't even handle Yemen and they want to piss around in Syria as well?

Posted by: Ian | Apr 17 2018 21:32 utc | 144

@94 All well and good, Don, but there are numerous photos showing Syrian soldiers wandering around the actual site dressed in nothing but their army fatigues. One even shows a soldier taking happy-snaps with his camera, and with nary a worry in the world

As in: standing right on top of the rubble, ground zero, and totally unaffected.

I don't care if they hit that site with 1000 tomahawks, if that really was a chemical weapons facility then those Syrian soldiers would not be doing what they were doing.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 17 2018 21:55 utc | 145

DID SYRIAN AIR DEFENSES HIT THIN AIR?

It is possible, that Syrian air defenses wasted 112 missiles firing at imaginary targets created by radar jaming and electronic countermeasures. To argue otherwise we would need to see photos of the downed missiles. So far we have seen nothing but fakes, with the exception of a few missile parts that might have come from a missile that hits its target.

We know for a fact that anti-aircraft missiles were fired during the FUKUS attack.

  • Russian journalists visited the Dumayr airbase and interviewed Major Mohammed Saidi, crew chief of the BUK missile systems at the base. He claims they shot down 12 incoming missiles, but admits that it was difficult to distinguish the real missiles from the "deception targets". (See KP and Vesti News, both in English)
  • @WaelAlRussi on Twitter shows empty missile canisters from a Pantsir-S1/2 system.

It may be that the airbases were targeted only because they have the strongest point defense systems that would be the first to react to the electronic warfare.

There was another phantom attack on the night between the 16th and 17th of April, evidently launched by Israel. First the target was the T4 airbase. Then Al Shayrat then Dumayr. Then all of them. Then none of them. Russia says the whole attack was a false alarm. But evidently the ghost missiles managed to hit the Dumayr airbase twice. Who knows?

The only facts that support the Russian version of events are that 1) they claim a higher interception rate for newer systems, 2) some of the alleged hits were made by the Strela-10 which used optical targeting and 3) Russia put their credibility on the line.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 17 2018 22:18 utc | 146

One America News Network reporter finds no evidence of chem attack: https://youtu.be/lSXwG-901yU

Sputnik covered it: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201804171063629688-us-reporter-douma-wa/

The report is nowhere to be found on the OANN site. Don't embarrass the Trumpster!


"One America News Network (abbreviated as OANN), is an American conservative cable news television channel launched on July 4, 2013 that is owned by Herring Networks, Inc. The network is headquartered in San Diego, California, and operates a news bureau in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Originally launched with the intention of targeting a conservative and center-right audience,OAN states a goal of delivering credible national and international news coverage throughout the day while its prime time political talk shows illustrate a conservative perspective.According to the Washington Post, the channel has risen to greater prominence due to its pro-Trump coverage."

Posted by: daffyDuct | Apr 18 2018 0:59 utc | 147

Thanks b and all the great contributors.
#40 thanks. Great writing and music.
#87 great post. I remember reading about the importance of Syria regaining control of the border region with Lebanon as it improved Syrian radar coverage. As well another contributor at one time mentioned that the liberation of East Ghouta will vastly improve the air defence of Damascus. Time for the Axis of Evil to hit is now before Syria rebuilds those air defences in East Ghouta. Looks like it is too late unless one unleashes a 1000 missiles.

Some comments I have come across seem to suggest that Russia left Syria out to dry on this attack. My hunch is that the Russians were confident that what the Syrians had in place could handle 100-300 missiles. The Axis of Evil figured they could lay a licking on the Syrians. I guess that is hubris will do to you.

I saw an interesting tweet over at Charles Shoebridge. " To be clear, I don't dispute that as UK govt says cleaning up nerve agent may 'cost millions and take months'. But I do dispute that the same UK govt and media saying this can also with any consistency then suggest Russia has cleaned up Douma in just a few days. Jihadists claim that sarin was used as well as chlorine.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 18 2018 3:35 utc | 148

Can someone tell how to adjust the html of this story so that it agrees with MOA standard format? The previous story of 15 APR 2018, "Were the Skripals 'Buzzed', 'Novi-shocked' Or Neither? - May Has Some 'Splaining' To Do" displays correctly. And the URL for the style sheet of both stories is the same. So...???

Posted by: EdMOA | Apr 18 2018 3:43 utc | 149

Can someone tell how to adjust the html of this story so that it agrees with MOA standard format? The previous story of 15 APR 2018, "Were the Skripals 'Buzzed', 'Novi-shocked' Or Neither? - May Has Some 'Splaining' To Do" displays correctly. And the URL for the style sheet of both stories is the same. So...???

Posted by: EdMOA | Apr 18 2018 3:43 utc | 150

#111 and #144. Saud Arabia already have "troops" in Syria, Jaysh al-Islam and the rest of their inbred motley crew. That's the problem. If that happens, poor Kurds, stuck between rock and a hard place. My bet is that 70% of Saudi troops would defect to ISIS in no time!

Posted by: Tom | Apr 18 2018 3:48 utc | 151

Hi, B, and thank you.

It leaves a major question, that of what kind of missiles hit where and what didn't. The Tomahawks are old stuff, but the brand new JASSM cruise missiles (by Lockheed Martin, the « smart » ones Trumpolini had alluded to in his idiotic tweet) are another story altogether. It seems that none of those has been stopped, but the Pentagon & assorted goons would say that anyway. On the Russian side, not a word about that. Do you know something that would help?

Posted by: Lea | Apr 18 2018 8:58 utc | 152

@Lea 152 The Russians mentioned in their first briefing that the B1-B bombers used GBU-38 bombs, they had no intel on JASSM missiles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua1Ld1rInxU

Although there is some truth to the Russian claim that the French didn't fire. 2 FREMM Frigates had problems firing their missiles https://twitter.com/Tom_Antonov/status/986255001168285696

Posted by: Jay | Apr 18 2018 9:56 utc | 153

19 JASSM-ER, $1.3 mil. per unit = $24.000.000
57 Tomahawk, $1.8 mil. per unit = $102.000.000
29 Storm Shadow/Scalp, $1.1 mil. per unit = $31.900.000
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Total: 105 missiles, Total costs (missiles only) = $159.900.000

Hefty price even for 'alliance'.

Cash-cow i.e., the KSA it might foot the bill. If true, since it is not große Lüge about this attack will continue to exits in virtual world of the Internet and printing presses of the empire's outlets.

Russian claim: 71 of them is downed. 67% success rate, DAMN, if the Syrians get all those AA systems (along with a staff training) from the Russkies Anglo-zionists are fucked up. A Jews might have to be forced to another exodus, their air-superiority is gone, they are doomed. Just wishful thinking...of mine.

Jokes aside but for the empire;

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/04/16/national/u-s-syria-strike-japan-gets-preview-stealthy-new-missile-looks-buy/#.WtSKwdPwZPM

Both sides are happy, "battle tested" hardware and software will be bought by foolish buyers and their nations will be 'safe and secure' now.

"U.S. asks Korea to share cost of strategic weapons"
http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3046976

he, he, he, poor Koreans....and the rests of folks whose "defense" depend upon Washington.

Posted by: partisan | Apr 18 2018 10:00 utc | 154

somehow I managed to miss this major conflict....105 missiles with like half ton of warhead, packed with electronics, wires, turbo jet and quite fuselage of aluminum and other parts.

Yet, I can not, repeat I can not find a single photo of them on the Internet. Damn me...

BTW, at around 01:40 in this clip Lockheed-Martin is showing us how successful it is against S-300 system.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/04/16/national/u-s-syria-strike-japan-gets-preview-stealthy-new-missile-looks-buy/#.WtSKwdPwZPM

Posted by: partisan | Apr 18 2018 10:22 utc | 155

Re #49

In terms of holders of sovereign debt, Western pension, insurance and investment funds, hold significantly more sovereign bonds than any country on earth. This is, by the way, a legal requirement.

Incidentally, in a desperate search for yield, in the past 20 years Western funds have been accumulating emerging market bonds

As interest rates rise globally however and as various municipalities and sovereigns become unable to make good on their obligations, these funds will have to liquidate.

This is a legal requirement.

Liquidation will begin as a trickle but will very likely become a bank busting river (pun intended) as interest rates approach 5 or, ye gods, 6%

Posted by: guidoamm | Apr 18 2018 10:46 utc | 156

We may never know what actually happened here. I mean, sure, the US government lies all the time, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't sometimes tell the truth (if only by accident).

What is weird is how divergent the claims are. I mean, the US is claiming 100% flawless operation of over 100 missiles, of different models, many of which have never seen combat before.
And the Syrians are claiming better interception rates than any air-defense system has ever achieved in combat. What the heck is going on? Some thoughts:

1. If something like 70 cruise missiles were successfully intercepted or jammed and made to crash, where is all the wreckage? Syria should be littered with the stuff.

2. It is really weird that like 70 missiles were targeted at one building complex. That's a lot of money! Sure seems like colossal overkill to me... or, as suggested by others, the US is simply
claiming that all these missiles were targeting this site, to hide the fact of so many being intercepted. But on another note: sure, 70 tons of high explosive is a lot, but reinforced concrete
buildings can take a lot of damage. Sure, just 3 or 4 missiles would have destroyed the site as a functioning industrial facility, but to reduce the building to the foundations really
could take this much explosives. I recently watched a documentary on the WWII allied invasion of Italy, there was this big stone monastery on a hill. The Americans dumped hundreds of
tons of bombs on it, they sure destroyed it as a building, but there were still a lot of walls standing i.e. it had not been razed to the foundations. And maybe the Americans just wanted
to shoot over 100 missiles to 'send a message' - and give the defense contractors a nice little bonus. And give the armed forces practice at coordinating saturation attacks. And try out some
of the newer toys in combat. Or something.

3. If US cruise missiles are really now rendered impotent against even second-tier militaries (Russia's really cool stuff was not apparently used), this would be a major game changer.
The US establishment would be in full panic mode, countries all over the world would be screaming to buy Russian air defense systems... but I'm not hearing much along these lines.

4. The US reported that the Syrians didn't launch interceptor missiles until after the attack. At first this seemed weird to me - but if the Syrians really had been caught with their pants down, and
then wanted to claim that they had intercepted a bunch of missiles, they would have to fire some off so that observers on the ground would see some missile launches. Yes, the
US could be lying about this detail to make their story more credible, but it's not the style of US propaganda to worry about little details or self consistency.

5. It does seem like the Russians (and Syrians) had been warned in advance of when and where the attacks were to take place. And the Syrians still couldn't hit even one missile?
Or even fire some interceptors before the attack was over? Is Russian tech really that pathetic? Maybe, but remember that the US relies on Russian rockets to fly astronauts to the
space station because we don't have the ability to do that on our own...

Posted by: TG | Apr 18 2018 14:20 utc | 157

Posted by: guidoamm | Apr 18, 2018 6:46:33 AM | 156

The link provided at 49 - https://chinapower.csis.org/us-debt/ - contains a chart where it is shown that almost 70% of US sovereign debt is held domestically. This would be composed largely of those investment and pension funds etc you mentioned.

Anyway that was beside the point - the person I was replying to was trying to pretend that Russian holdings of $100 Billion US sovereign Debt was somehow "significant" - it isn't. Its not even close to being "significant".

Russia is a complete bit-player in terms of US sovereign debt holdings, simply because the size of US Sovereign debt is so large.

So $100 billion might sound like a lot, until you check out how much US sovereign debt there actually is, then you realise that in fact $100 Billion is a mere drop in the ocean - the Russians selling there's off in one block would have little if any overall effect, and would be extremely unlikely to start any tsunami of US debt sell-off.


However the same can not be said for Russian Sovereign debt, $55 Billion of which is held by US domiciled entities.

While $55 Billion is much smaller than the $100 Billion of US debt owned by Russia, the effect on the Russian economy of an immediate sell-off of that US-owned $55 Billion would be much more severe, given the much smaller figures for overall Russian debt and the much smaller overall size of the Russian economy.

Out of the two debt holdings Russia would suffer more from an immediate sell-off.

"As interest rates rise globally however and as various municipalities and sovereigns become unable to make good on their obligations, these funds will have to liquidate.

This is a legal requirement.

Liquidation will begin as a trickle but will very likely become a bank busting river (pun intended) as interest rates approach 5 or, ye gods, 6%"

All very true IF interest rates rise to 5 or 6% but I have my doubts, (and have well-informed reasons for those doubts), that interest rates are likely to rise that high any time soon.

There is however a crash on its way soon, simply because there is strong sentiment that US Equities are seriously over-valued.

A sell-off of over-valued US Equities is long over-due and when it comes it will rapidly become a flood. And that money will be looking for a home, somewhere. So EM sovereign debt is maybe not as dodgy an investment, in the longer term, as you seem to think.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Apr 18 2018 14:46 utc | 158

105 missiles with like half ton of warhead, packed with electronics, wires, turbo jet and quite fuselage of aluminum and other parts.

Yet, I can not, repeat I can not find a single photo of them on the Internet

The lack of photos is certainly of interest.

As the 4Chan-ers like to say:

    "Pics, or it didn't happen!"

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Apr 18 2018 14:51 utc | 159

It's quite normal to budget about 10 missiles per one target and little bit more against target like airbase. It won't surprise me at all if Russian jets rising on the sky managed to stop more missiles coming to those 5 airbases. 73 missiles per 5 airbases is just about average 14-15 which is little bit less than enough (even with more success).

Posted by: Mathias | Apr 18 2018 15:00 utc | 160

THIS

https://twitter.com/jenanmoussa/status/985065927812231168

"The West can say they acted.

Russia can say the bombing was minimal they didnt need to react.

Both sides save face."

Posted by: partisan | Apr 18 2018 15:41 utc | 161

Just Sayin'

Agree with the spirit of your opinion.

I however see refuge in the main US indices.

The DOW could correct all the way to 19000 and still be in an uptrend.

Interest rates however, can sling shot as a reaction to 30 years of manipulation. There is no shortage of triggers that could unleash this tsunami. Every action results in an equal and opposite reaction. The only variable is time.

Underfunded pension plans are a prime candidate to unleash an interest rate tsunami.

Best wishes to all, however you plan to survive the next 10 years

Posted by: guidoamm | Apr 18 2018 16:12 utc | 162

Also, if interest rates do rise, this will add fuel to the rise of the US$

When this happens, any country that has sold sovereign debt in US$ over the past 30 years, will be on the hook for Billions upon Billions.

So EM sovereign debt is unlikely to be a good place to be in the next 5 years or so

Posted by: guidoamm | Apr 18 2018 16:20 utc | 163

$TNX monthly

TNX


$TNX monthly zoomed in

TNX


DJI monthly
DJI


DJI monthly zoomed in
DJI

Posted by: guidoamm | Apr 18 2018 17:12 utc | 164

US$ monthly
US$

US$ zoomed in
US$

Posted by: guidoamm | Apr 18 2018 17:25 utc | 165

Now nobody fuck it up by posting a mesuthelan length link!!

Methuselah, born 687 after the Creation, died 1656 atC, i.e. in the year of The Flood, the last ante-deluvian patriarch

So The Flood was on the previous page. In those swirling murky waters some syllables could be transposed.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 19 2018 6:28 utc | 166

You send 105 tomahawks because you want a certain success-rate.

You don't acknowledge a failure-rate, so as to avoid showing your hand with regards to intelligence.

Seems pretty simple.

Posted by: jt77bhja | Apr 21 2018 15:32 utc | 167

Some thoughts regarding the 71 missiles shot down.

First I accept the Russian military information. They have been operating (Russian) on a factual basis (no hypo boosting) So any White Helmets FAKE chemical attack which Trump wants to use as a pretext for Humanitarian missiles in the future the use of a standoff weapon like Cruise missiles will be successfully defended by defensive missiles. Again this is GOOD NEWS for Syrian people.


This is good for Syria. The American forces distortion of 'attacks' effectiveness. So you a leadership unaware that their (attacks 2017 Shayrat and this one) were a failure. Trump is oblivious ( nice and smart missiles) will be any successful unless it is is a undefended site. This is how Military Dictatorships fail. Nobody wants to offer advice that hurts the ego of the leader, so unpleasant information is hidden ( who wants to be the bearer of bad news, crickets.

Syria needs now the 300 missile
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia-lavrov/russia-u-s-strikes-remove-moral-hurdles-for-s-300-missiles-for-assad-ria-idUSKBN1HR0LY

Posted by: col from oz | Apr 23 2018 3:50 utc | 168

Jeffrey St. Clair (Counterpunch) says that reports from witnesses on the ground in Damascus claim that Syrian anti-missile defenses were not deployed until well after the Allied attacks had been completed.

Give the Russians points for humor. They claimed that the archaic missile defense system the Soviets sold the Syrians decades ago knocked down 75 cruise missiles, even though most accounts have the Syrian rockets being fired 25 minutes after the last cruise missile struck.

Here is the link, which also contains an epic trashing of the recently deceased Barbara Bush. https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/20/roaming-charges-mother-of-war/

Posted by: Rob | Apr 24 2018 16:59 utc | 169

Pat Lang, a former high ranking military intelligence officer, remarks on the case as well as the Douma incident:

I am told by several foreign sources with access to the information needed to make a valid judgment that the Russians are correct. These people are friendly to the United States as are their governments. Over two thirds of the US coalition missiles failed to reach their targets. Why? All the reasons cited above must have played a role in this aerial defeat. Obsolescent weapons, a fully integrated air defense and skill brought to the fight.

There is an ongoing investigation to determine what is to be done to rectify the situation.

At the same time it is clear that there was an understanding between the governments to insure that Russian red lines were not crossed. The evidence for the Douma gas attack is non-existent. The film evidence has now been thoroughly de-bunked as part of the information operations (propaganda) of the White Helmets scheme funded by the Saudis and largely conducted by the UK info warriors of 77 Regiment. It seems clear that US DoD was not privy to that IO project and for that Reason SECDEF Mattis was blind-sided by the deception. The struck targets (successful or not) have long been known to the US IC as facilities of the former Syrian Government chemical warfare programs. The Russians were told to stay out of those areas and so a reasonable compromise was made with a president easily fooled by social media and under heavy pressure by a population equally easy to deceive.

Nevertheless, most of the missiles failed and that failure must be dealt with.

Posted by: b | Apr 25 2018 10:16 utc | 170

@ b who provided the quote from SST that ended with :" Nevertheless, most of the missiles failed and that failure must be dealt with."

Why are the optics on the outcome of the equipment in the battle rather than why the battle is being fought? Why can't we focus our energies on making a better social system rather than how to kill each other more effectively?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 25 2018 13:47 utc | 171

@b 170.. thanks!

@ 171 psychohistorian...good question! i think the reason is fairly self explanatory... military brats are obsessed with the military - gear and etc. etc. etc... human beings, or those with a humanitarian bent are focused on how fucked up the planet is thanks war and seek an end to all of them.. i think that explains some of the reason why the questions are different... different priorities exist, depending on one's focus..

Posted by: james | Apr 25 2018 15:53 utc | 172

@ 171 psychohistorian.. i have a response, but it seems my response is caught in some filter and not being made public - yet..

Posted by: james | Apr 25 2018 19:21 utc | 173

@171 pyscho... not sure what happened to my first response to you.. hopefully this one gets thru!

the way i see it there are folks focused on military details - military brats like pat lang for example, but they're generally not interested in the deeper philosophical question of why war happens and why people do this to each other... they don't seem to care..the idea of making a better social system is viewed as secondary to the system that gets to call the shots via military power.. that is what it looks like to me.. i would be curious for b or anyone else to try to answer your question.. i think it is a good one... most of these folks that profess to be christian don't seem all that christian to me, especially the ones who combine military involvement and christianity... i would say the same for all of the religions... but i guess i am getting further removed from your question.. religion is almost used like an excuse for righteousness..

Posted by: james | Apr 25 2018 23:34 utc | 174

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