In the early hours of April 14, 2018, at specifically 3:55 a.m., the United States, Britain and France, launched a misguided campaign of noise and fire against the government and people of Syria. The targets were already known by the Syrian government since the Russians had negotiated them with Secretary of Defense, James “Mad Dog” Mattis. Since everybody knew Trump was going to do something, sometime, some way, all precautions were taken to protect lives and materiel. Syria’s most advanced jets were stored in fortified hangars or flown to bases such as Humaymeem where Russian personnel are stationed.
The attack involved two U.S. cruise missile carrying destroyers in the Red Sea; tactical aircraft flying from one aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean; and several B-1 bombers traced to new runways in American-occupied Al-Tanf near the Jordanian-Iraqi borders. The British fllew a wing of Tornado bombers carrying cruise missiles out of Akritiri Airbase in Cyprus while the French used their Mirages and Rafal bombers based in Jordan.
The combined forces used 110 cruise missiles 71 of which were either intercepted and destroyed by Syria’s Pantsir air defense systems or were electronically toppled by a force which will remain unmentioned. Only 39 cruise missiles reached any target, many of them falling harmlessly in the Syrian Desert.
The only targets hit were a scientific research facility in Barza which contained classrooms and laboratories. All material had been removed so that the Americans could claim falsely that they had destroyed a CW-related institution. Another building which the Americans were allowed to destroy was a military warehouse in Homs, at Misyaaf, which the Americans could not hit because all the missiles aimed at that target were electronically toppled. As the cruise missiles were being deflected, they exploded on the ground injuring 3 civilians. The NATO allies also fired 12 missiles at the Al-Dhumayr AB east of Damascus. Russian news says all 12 were downed by Soviet-era air defense systems.
Of the 110 cruise missiles fired, 14 of them were American Tomahawks. Most of the others were British and Fench. None of the British or French missiles hit any target. Complete failure and a lesson to the allies of the U.S.
An helicopter airbase near the Lebanese border was also struck. However, because the attack took place in the early hours, nobody was at the base and, conveniently, no aircraft were to be found.
One thing is absolutely certain: this was a training exercise to see how well NATO weapons would work. The enemy here, Syria and Russia, was in on the planning and knew ahead of time what the attacking force was going to do. There was high drama, what with Trump calling Dr. Assad an “animal”. There was puffing with Trump tweeting about his “new, smart” missiles in response to a Russian diplomat claiming his country would knock down all attacking missiles. But, of course, Trump fancies himself a great negotiator and managed to negotiate the rules of this engagement.
The first rule was that the Russians have to convince Dr. Assad that his country was going to be hit, but not hard. The second rule was that Dr. Assad could use all air defense assets at his disposal. The third rule of this idiotic game was that Russia would only give minimal assistance such that Trump’s “smart” missiles could reach some targets which were already prepared. The 4th rule was that Trump, May and Macron would be allowed to give orotund speeches with plangent, stentorian appeals to the loftiest platitudes about “joint action” when international norms were being violated. The 5th rule was that nobody would talk about selling lethal weapons to the Saudi chimpanzees so they could use them to violate international law by murdering innocent Yemeni civilians.
So much for the touted Anglo-American-French attack to punish Syria. YAWN. OH, YAWN.