conflict zones, empire watch, France, latest, Russia, Syria, UK, USA

Decisive Failure Of US Forces

by South Front, April 14, 2018

Early on April 14, the US, France and the UK carried out a massive missile strike on Syria justifying their actions with the alleged involvement of the Assad government into the April 7 Douma “chemical attack”.

The Russian Defense Minsitry stated that 103 cruise and air-to-surface missiles were launched on different targets across Syria adding that 71 of them were intercepted by the Syrian Air Defense Forces (SADF).

“According to available information, a total of 103 cruise missiles were fired… The Syrian air defense systems basically comprising Soviet-made weapons successfully repelled the strikes by aircraft and naval ships. A total of 71 missiles were intercepted,” Head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi said.

Rudskoi said that the SADF had used its S-125, S-200, Buk, Kvadrat and Osa air defense systems to repel the strike.

The Syrian General Command said that the US, the UK and France had launched 110 missiles also adding that most of them were intercepted.

The numbers provided raise serious questions.

Some experts contacted by SouthFront said that even theoretically the SADF had not been capable to shoot down more than 15-20% of the launched missiles using its S-125, S-200, Buk, Kvadrat and Osa systems only. The SADF just does not have enough means and measures to intercept such a number of missiles simultaneously in one striking wave.

So what really happened?

The experts suggested that the Russian military had possibly used its state-of-the-art electronic warfare (EW) systems to counter the launched missiles during their final phase of flight path.

The most part of the flight path, the guidance for the Tomahawk cruise missile is provided by GPS. However, in the final phase, the missile starts using its internal guidance system. During this phase of the flight path the missile is vulnerable for EW counter-measures.

The missiles impacted by EW systems start to steer off. The missiles’ speed significantly reduces and they become an easy target for air defense systems or fall.

Another factor, which “highly likely” contributed to the effectiveness of the Syrian counter-measures, is that Russia had provided the Syrian military with operational data from its technical reconnaissance net, including satellites and other surveillance means. Likely, Iran had done a similar thing. Thus, missiles launched from the Red Sea were detected immediately and were being tracked during all their flight path.

Using tracking data, Russian-made air defense systems are capable of shooting down cruise missiles with a relatively high efficiency.

In any case, the 71 intercepted missiles of 103 launched are a decisive failure for the US and its allies. No doubts, the US military leadership did not expect this scenario.

If the data provided by the Russian Defense Ministry is confirmed, this will be the first time in the history when some side was able to repel a massive strike of the so-called modern high-precision weapons/missiles. So, in a case of a nuclear exchange between the US and Russia, the Russians will be able to intercept most of the US attacking means suffering a minor damage. Russia’s nuclear strike would be a crushing blow.

So far [13:15 CET], the US has provided no comments on reports about the 71 downed missiles and has not even provided official info about the targets and weapons involved in its strike on Syria. Considering that the administration of US President Donald Trump likes “PR moves”, such a stance may be described as an idication that something “went wrong”.

UPDATE: The Pentagon provided own version of events by saying that all the missiles “successfully hit every target”.

UPDATE 2: On April 15, former head of the Armaments Department of the Russian Defense Ministry Colonel General Anatoliy Sitnov supported this EW warfare impact version in own remarsk to the Russian TV channel Tsargrad.


  1. “The experts suggested that the Russian military had possibly used its state-of-the-art electronic warfare (EW) systems to counter the launched missiles during their final phase of flight path”

    I have not heard of such a version. At least Russian experts do not talk about this. But i can note another moment – the point is that the Russian long-range radar detection aircraft A-50 was constantly in the air, giving the backlight of all missile launches and thus helping Syrian air defense systems to destroy attacking missiles.

    “The SADF just does not have enough means and measures to intercept such a number of missiles simultaneously in one striking wave”

    Hmm, “simultaneously in one striking wave”? I heard another version – that attack was not, you know, one-off and simultaneous. The aggression lasted for about two hours, and missiles flew not all at the same time, but in portions, so it was not a problem for SADF to repulse the attack.

    • Think we should regard a lot of this as posturing by both sides. US don’t want to be too open about the token nature of their strikes. Neither does Russia.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Even the jihadist lie-machine, the so-called ‘Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ or whatever HE calls himself, concurred that half, at least, of the missiles were intercepted. He’d better watch out or his cheques will stop arriving.

    • Thomas Peterson says

      Hard to believe they didnt target some airbases.

      They must have known that the buildings they actually hit were not in fact chemical weapons facilities.

      • Roger says

        Whether air-bases were targeted or not we have not been shown any photos. What we have seen are rather grainy photos of three objects which appear to habe been hit: the lab buildings of a technical institute in Damascus seriously flattened, with fire-men and emergency services wandering around without any protective gear of any sort; a so-called CW storage area, and a bunker-cum-command-post just west of Homs, on the high-way marked M1. I have found these 2 places using Google maps easy as a pie, though the images presented to us have been published upside down – as usual. The CW depot is – was, now flattened – a small agricultural complex in the midst of a vast area of olive groves – and indeed Homs is famous for olive-oil production, so it was most likely an oil-press. The bunker-cum-command post is – near-missed, not destroyed – just a shed of maybe 30 square metres. The photo shown has been poorly doctored to show a number of other shed-like buildings which do not exist on the Google map (Google 2018). Have a look, but remember the photos we have been shown are upside down.

  2. Harry Law says

    Of course the Tomahawk cruise missile only travels at approx 550 MPH, and with a low trajectory, whereas an intercontinental ballistic missile enters space and travels at 15,000 MPH. Still not to worry the US has enough nuclear weapons to destroy Russia 10 times over, whereas Russia could only destroy the US 5 times over. Now to some US planners they are good odds.
    Here is what one leading newspaper thought the US should do in Syria..
    Monday’s Wall Street Journal editorial page fairly blossomed with war plans:
    “The better U.S. strategy is to … turn Syria into the Ayatollah’s Vietnam. Only when Russia and Iran began to pay a larger price in Syria will they have any incentive to negotiate an end to the war or even contemplate a peace based on dividing the country into ethnic-based enclaves.” Hope Putin and Lavrov realise what fools they have to negotiate with.

    • My country probably deserves nuclear annihilation. We are the Sodom–the rich, inhospitable, violent, greedy, sociopathic nation–of the modern world. It is hard for me to read editorials like the one cited above without wishing violence upon the authors, editors, and institutions behind them.

    • Harry Law says

      The Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles threat could have been overcome if more funding had been given to Reagans ‘star wars’ program, if only people then had handed over their pensions to Reytheon and foregone basic health care, and not have their money wasted on such things as education and essential infrastructure, then we may have been able to intercept those missiles. Or maybe not. Also, what about the mine shaft gap?

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Of course that Evil Murdochite sullage (may I guess-Bret Stephens?) is the Zionist Oded Yinon Plan to the letter-the vivisection of Syria, a formerly peaceful multi-faith, multi-ethnic, state into ‘..ethnic-based enclaves’. This whole orgy of genocide, from Iraq through Libya, Lebanon and Syria, onto Bibi’s fervently desired ‘New Purim’ in Iran, is driven by the Zionists, and the USA, UK and France are just Evil underlings doing their Masters’ bidding.

  3. AntonyI says

    Thanks God for that!
    Looks like president Trump managed to put the brakes on US deep state’s far reaching plans for Syria now and therefore also on useful idiots like May and Macron (M&M ?).

    Quite an achievement while being harassed by the swamp octopus arms in DOJ, FBI, MSM, CIA etc.

    • wardropper says

      Except that the general public will believe the Pentagon’s claim that all targets were successfully hit…
      They only need the appropriate narrative – you know, the narrative from 1950 that says the Soviets are behind everything that is wrong with the world.
      Actual facts are not required.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        We are nearing Peak Lie. Who was it (Casey?) who said that their work would be finished when EVERYTHING the public believed was untrue. Just like Total Information Awareness we are near that Nirvana now. Where humanity goes, or deserves to go, when little emanations of outright Evil like May or Pompeo or Netanyahu rule the world does not bear consideration.

  4. The simple fact that the WMSM has dropped the narratives of the illegal attack that were everywhere in the media at the weekend [I’m sure they had many news feeds ready to go] all of which indicates that the huge bluster before and during the show was compromised by this unexpected outcome.

    Although this was not totally unexpected – I think even by South Front, it’s good to see that the FUKUS seem to have been broadsided. One thing the US military is not comfortable with is a demonstration of their fallibility especially so early at the first and then second attempt.

    Of course we understand that “smart” depends on levels of cognition. Trump – Putin, Lavrov – Bolton you get my drift.

    • milosevic says

      Trump – Putin, Lavrov – Bolton

      Trump is to Putin as Lavrov is to Bolton?

      I don’t actually see how you can formulate a ratio where Bolton is the denominator, since division by zero is undefined.

  5. bevin says

    Moon of Alabama adds perspective to this analysis: The Pentagon denies that its missiles were, for the most part, shot down. It asserts that its missiles hit their targets but that there wee only a very few of these.
    ‘b’ points out that the problem with is is that it would mean that vast amounts of high explosive would have been delivered to those few targets and the evidence is that this was not the case. And therefore that certain targets were unscathed because, as this piece argues, no missiles made it through to them.
    Then alternative explanation is that the US rigorously excluded any military facilities, military personnel and, particularly, Russian targets, limiting its attacks to the traditional aspirin factories and paint shops. It did so because it believed the Russian threat to destroy any launch platforms if its troops were killed.
    In short: this has all the hallmarks of an expensive and dangerous theatrical production designed to impress the more idiotic and mentally unstable members of the electorate-including, of course, the punditry. It is unclear exactly what the significance of this nonsense is but it undoubtedly signals the weakness of an Empire running out of military options.
    From now on the serving party in this tennis match will be the eurasians, Russia China and Iran. It is they who have the real advantage of forces, the ability, firstly to neutralise the threat of nuclear attack, secondly to shoot down missiles and aircraft, thus neutralising US/Israeli air power and thirdly the ability to mobilise, using interior lines, large ground forces. This transforms US bases from positions of strength to vulnerable outposts.
    As to the significance of these events to the UK, like the Skripal business they amount to an intelligence test- an electorate that cannot see through such obvious propaganda is incapable of looking after itself and is doomed to be enslaved.

    • Thomas Peterson says

      We are expected to beliieve 76 missiles were used to destroy one complex of 3 not very large buildings.

      • Hey Raytheon Corporation would be happy with those numbers going forward!!

        • Virgil R Keane says

          I disagree. I think Raytheon would be very happy with those numbers, and so would their shareholders.

          It’s not as though the US govt is simply going to stop using Raytheon products and wander down the street to buy them from another shop.

          The US govt will simply have to buy more from Raytheon and then launch them, in the hope that launching more means more will get through.

          It’s not about how successful your product is; it’s about how many you can sell, regardless.

          • The bigger takeaway from this–and you spell out the logic nicely–is that there is good reason to believe that the relative inefficiency of US military spending is at least equal to, and likely quite greater than, the inefficiency of US health care spending.

            The privatization of both arms manufacturing and health care delivery means that what should be the primary goals of defense and health are in fact made secondary to the profit motive. And so you should expect that the US pays much higher prices for much worse results in both sectors.

            • Virgil R Keane says

              Good point.

              As long as someone somewhere is making money, the plan should be considered to have succeeded. Given that Russia allowed the US to do this, we should perhaps expect more of it.

              The only fly in the ointment is Israel. Nothing short of regime change will fit their bill (hence their support for ISIS on the ground). If they launch against Syria and manage to kill some Russians, Russia will need to decide whether to retaliate. If they do launch an attack on Israel, the US would have little choice but to take it personally. That’s where it starts to get messy.

              Russia could crush Israel in a heartbeat, but the US won’t allow that to happen. Then we get Iran and China entering the mix (the UK and France are bit-part players and are only interested in domestic agendas, so I’m not counting them).

              I see people saying that the US can easily defeat Russia. I think that’s optimistic. However it goes, when one side starts to suffer significantly, how long before some genius decides that the nuclear option looks attractive?

              It looks like health care is going to become disproportionately important quite soon, although I doubt it will be enough.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Your Thoughtcrime and Badthink have been noted.

    • As I read the first reports on Saturday morning it seemed pretty obvious that all sides knew what was going to happen. That it was a face saving exercise in which all sides could claim a win. My opinion remains pretty much the same.
      The victory is Russia’s however. The US coalition blinked and backed down in the face of the promise of significant retaliation. And so Putin agreed to a compromise allowing the Orange President to escape an unprecedented humiliation to US Empire.
      However such an embarrassment will not sit well with the psychopaths of the deep state and they are unlikely to let it slide. I do not for a moment think this chessgame is over.

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