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Salisbury CW Attack / Syrian CW Attack (40)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting. 

105/105 launches versus direct hits. Russian and Syrian propaganda claims of shootdowns are complete rubbish.

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Syria CW target strikes have largely displaced Salisbury in media traffic volumes, although the disclosure in the UK NatSec Advisor brief that Col. Skripal and Yulia were hacked 5 years ago and surveilled ever since produced almost viral coverage for a day, demonstrating that the Russian propaganda campaign failed globally, and putting another nail into the coffin of their denial effort. The Independent’s ambassadorial sketch proves the utter and complete failure of the Russian campaign in the West.

The propaganda campaign around the Syrian CW attack is ramping up, to the extent that the OSD identified a twenty-fold increase in Russian troll effort in the area over the last 24 hours. After blaming the UK for the Douma CW attack, the Russians have been making threats and feigning outrage. The Russians and Syrians are making mutually contradictory claims on both numbers of cruise missiles launched, and numbers shot down, while propaganda footage of SA-5 GAMMON and SA-11/17 GADFLY/GRIZZLY rounds being launched at high flying aimpoints will only be convincing to audiences who have no idea that cruise missiles fly at very low altitudes (a lot of Western media were dumb enough to fall for this one).  Syrian rent-a-crowds dance in the streets over Assad’s great victory, as they were not collectively blasted into oblivion. Iranian leadership produces the usual rhetoric and threats.

Excellent media statements by POTUS and PM May, in fact POTUS’ comments on Russia were very appropriate and to the point – if you prop up “New Axis of Evil” regimes, what does that make you? LtGen McKenzie briefs states 105 rounds launched against 3 clusters of CW targets. The strike was indeed very surgical but limited, and as long as Syria retains personnel with technological and operational skills in CW, the capability can be reconstituted using imported hardware. CW capability is not critical to regime survival, whereas the delivery systems are, and the focus of the strikes on dedicated CW assets excluding delivery systems explains Syrian claims of a victory. Russian complaints about the strikes display exceptional hypocrisy, as the targets were single purpose CW assets. This strongly suggests the Russians did indeed orchestrate the CW attack to draw Western media, public and political attention away from Salisbury.

Weapon types employed all appear to be standard inventory items – BGM-109 (66), AGM-158B JASSM-ER (19), SCALP/MdCN (12) and Storm Shadow (8). JCS claim all rounds hit their DMPIs so Russian and Syrian air defence claims are bunk, and previously reported wide area GPS jamming was evidently ineffective.

Coalition launched 105 weapons against Syria, with none intercepted, DoD says 

On Saturday morning, Pentagon officials gave details on airstrikes on Syrian chemical weapons sites launched Friday by the United States, United Kingdom and France. * The Barzah Research and Development Center, which McKenzie called the “heart” of the chemical weapons program for the Assad regime and is located in “one of the most heavily defended” areas in the world, very close to the capitol of Damascus. This site was targeted by American forces only, with 57 Tomahawk missiles launched by sea and 19 JASSM-ER weapons launched from a pair of B-1 bombers, accompanied by protective fighter coverage. The U.S. assesses this facility was destroyed. * The Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons facility, located west of Homs, which was hit by all three nations. The U.S. launched nine Tomahawks, the British launched eight Storm Shadow air-launched weapons from a mix of Tornado and Typhoon fighters, and the French launched three naval cruise missiles and two of their SCALP air launched weapons, which are their Storm Shadow equivalent. The U.S. assesses this facility was destroyed. * The Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons bunker, about 7 kilometers from the previous site. This was struck only by the French, with seven SCALP missiles. In both locations, the SCALP weapons were fired by Rafale fighter, accompanied by Mirage fighters for protection. This location took “damage,” per McKenzie.

Navy Vessels, B-1s Obliterate 3 Syrian Targets in Strike | 

The strikes employed twice as many weapons used as in the response to a Syrian chemical attack last year. 14 Apr 2018 By Richard Sisk It was all over in two minutes. U.S., French and British forces hit three suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities with a total of 105 weapons that all struck their targets within two minutes at about 4 a.m. local time, Pentagon officials said Saturday. “Could not have had a better result — Mission Accomplished!” President Donald Trump said in a Tweet early Saturday. The attack involved ships, aircraft and one submarine operating from the Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Northern Arabian Sea against three targets — one on the outskirts of Damascus and two others 90 miles to the north. A total of 76 missiles — 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMS) and 19 Joint Air to Surface Stand-Off Missiles-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) were fired at the sprawling Barzah Research and Development Center near Damascus, Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the Joint Staff Director, said at a Pentagon briefing. At the same precise time, the Hims-Shinsar chemical weapons storage facility near Homs, about 90 miles north of Damascus, was hit with a total of 22 weapons — nine Tomahawks, eight British Storm Shadow missiles, three French Naval Cruise Missiles and two French SCALP land attack cruise missiles, McKenzie said. The third target, the Hims–Shinsar chemical weapons bunker facility also near Homs, was hit with seven French SCALP missiles, McKenzie said. In the Red Sea, the Ticonderoga-class cruiser Monterey fired 30 Tomahawks and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Laboon fired seven TLAMs. In the North Arabian Sea, the Arleigh Burke- class destroyer Higgins fired 23 TLAMS, McKenzie said. In the eastern Mediterranean, the French frigate Languedoc fired three naval versions of the SCALP missile and the Virginia-class submarine John Warner fired six TLAMs. In the air, two B-1B Lancer Bombers fired 19 JASSMs. Britain flew a combination of Tornado and Typhoon fighters to launch eight Storm Shadow missiles. France flew a combination of Rafale and Mirage fighters to launch a total of nine SCALP missiles. The strike represented the the first employment of JASSM-ER weapons in combat.

US: We attacked heart of Syrian chemical program

9:50 a.m. The Pentagon says they believe the airstrikes “attacked the heart of the Syrian chemical weapons program.” Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, says the U.S.-led airstrikes against Syria has been “a very serious blow.” The U.S., France and Britain launched military strikes on Saturday morning in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad (bah-SHAR’ AH’-sahd) for an apparent chemical attack against civilians last week and to deter him from doing it again. Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White says the target choices were “very methodical,” calling it a “deliberate decision” to go after chemical weapons facilities. She says the U.S. was confident that they had “significantly degraded his ability to use chemical weapons ever again.” ___ 9:30 a.m. The Pentagon says none of the missiles filed by the U.S. and its allies was deflected by Syrian air defenses, rebutting claims by the Russian and Syrian governments. Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, says: “None of our aircraft or missiles involved in this operation were successfully engaged by Syrian air defenses.” He says there also is no indication that Russian air defense systems were employed early Saturday in Syria. The Russian military had previously said Syria’s Soviet-made air defense systems downed 71 out of 103 cruise missiles launched by the United States and its allies. McKenzie says 105 weapons were launched against three targets in Syria. Characterizing the strike as a success, McKenzie says, “As of right now we’re not aware of any civilian casualties.” ___ 9:20 a.m. The Pentagon says the U.S.-led airstrikes on Syria “successfully hit every target.” Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said Saturday that the strikes were launched to “cripple Syria’s ability to use chemical weapons in the future.” The U.S., France and Britain launched military strikes in Syria on Friday night to punish President Bashar Assad (bah-SHAR’ AH’-sahd) for an apparent chemical attack against civilians last week and to deter him from doing it again. White says the strikes do not “represent a change in U.S. policy or an attempt to depose the Syrian regime.” But she says, “We cannot allow such grievous violations of international law.” She also called on Russia to “honor its commitment” to ensure the Assad regime gives up chemical weapons.
During the Pentagon press briefing, Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the director of the Joint Staff, said that the airstrikes accomplished their mission in Syria, setting back the chemical weapons program in Syria by years.

2018 bombing of Damascus and Homs – Wikipedia

The Pentagon says a Russian “disinformation campaign” has already begun over the U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria. Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said Saturday that “there has been a 2,000 percent increase in Russian trolls in the past 24 hours.” The U.S., Britain and France said they launched Saturday’s strike to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad for a suspected chemical attack against civilians in the town of Douma outside Damascus. Opposition leaders and rescuers say more than 40 people, including many women and children, died in the suspected chemical attack. Russia’s Foreign Ministry says the attack was an attempt to derail an investigation into a purported chemical attack. The Foreign Ministry says facts presented by Russian investigators indicated that the purported attack was a “premeditated and cynical sham.”
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Russia is Syria’s top ally and supporter of President Bashar al-Assad.
The U.S. ambassador to Russia also said that “insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible.”
Russia’s navy was ordered to monitor U.S. and NATO ships from a close distance.
The U.S., U.K. and France launched airstrikes against regime targets in Syria. Assad ally Russia condemned the attacks, saying they were a “brazen act of aggression.” Turkey said it was “appropriate.”
Syrian air defenses shot down 13 missiles fired in a U.S.-led attack on the country on Saturday, Syrian state TV said. It said the missiles had been shot down in the Kiswah area south of Damascus, the capital. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a total of three scientific research centers
■ U.S., U.K. and France launch overnight strike on targets including chemical weapons sites
■ Russia, Iran warn of consequences
■ Putin calls for emergency UN security council meeting
Damascus activated its anti-missile defense to counter missiles that were launched by the US and its allies against Syrian government targets.
Footages reportedly taken in Syria shows air-defense interceptors taking flight after US President Donald Trump announced that the US, UK and France would strike Syria.
Russia blames Britain and anyone other than the Syrian government for the chemical attack in Syria, which it has also said didn’t happen at all.
The World Health Organization said Wednesday that 43 of the dead had symptoms “consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals.”
After nearly a week of tension that sometimes verged on the surreal, the US and its allies finally carried out strikes against regime targets in Syria on Friday night. The strikes, more limited than once seemed likely, were designed to deter the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons once and for all.
The feeling among many supporters of Bashar al Assad and his military is that the US-led strikes in Syria were symbolic rather than game-changing.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Syrian government and its allies have absorbed a U.S.-led attack on Saturday and the targeted sites were evacuated days ago thanks to a warning from Russia, a senior official in a regional alliance that backs Damascus said. “We have absorbed the strike”, the official told Reuters. “We had an early warning of the strike from the Russians … and all military bases were evacuated a few days ago,” the official said. Around 30 missiles were fired in the attack, and a third of them were shot down, the official said. “We are carrying out an assessment of the material damages,” the official added. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been backed in the seven-year-long Syrian war by Russia, Iran, and Iran-backed Shi’ite groups from across the region, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah. (Reporting by Laila Bassam; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Samia Nakhoul)
Damascus locals gathered in the main square of the capital following US-led strikes on April 14, according to the Syrian state agency SANA . These videos show regime supporters dancing in Umayyin Square in celebration of the regime’s response to the attacks . SANA reported the Syrian army diverted a number of missiles. The US , France , and the UK announced late on April 13 that they carried out joint airstrikes targeting Syrian government chemical facilities in response to a suspected April 7 chemical attack in Douma. Credit: Damascus Now via Storyful
TEHRAN – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has strongly denounced joint airstrikes by the U.S., UK and France on Syria as a “crime,” saying the leaders of the three countries are “criminals”.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said an attack on Syria by the United States, France and Britain on Saturday was a crime and would not achieve any gains. “U.S, allies will not gain any achievements from crimes in Syria. Attacking Syria is a crime. U.S. president, UK prime minister and the president of France are criminals,” Khamenei said in a speech cited by Iranian TV. (Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Samia Nakhoul)
The Syrian government’s allies strongly condemned the overnight airstrikes on Assad regime targets, with Iran’s supreme leader branding as “criminals” President Donald Trump, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Iran Guards Warn of Fallout for U.S. of Syria Attacks: Fars | World News | US NewsDUBAI (Reuters) – An official in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday that the fallout from U.S.-led attacks on Syria will be at Washington’s expense. “With this attack…the situation will become more complex, and this will surely be at the expense of the United States, which will be responsible for the aftermath of upcoming regional events that will certainly not be in their interest,” Yadollah Javani, the Guards’ deputy head for political affairs, told Fars news agency. (Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
The chemical attack on the Syrian city of Douma last weekend was a monstrous crime in which scores of civilians died. It was a violation of the most basic humanitarian norm of warfare, dating back to The Hague Convention of 1899, that outlaws the use of “poison or poisoned weapons”. Given all that is known of President Assad’s willingness and capacity to inflict harm on a captive population, it would take an extraordinary degree of credulity, sophistry and ignorance to exculpate him of this atrocity. Exactly those characteristics are exemplified by a small group of academics, on whom we report today, at respectable institutions that include the universities of Sheffield and Edinburgh. The organisation calls itself the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media (SPM), and in an unintendedly perverse way it lives up to the “propaganda” part of its name. Some of the academics involved disseminate material that is wrong, unscholarly and morally odious. Their output is no more reputable than the conspiracy theories of the Kremlin and its online trolls. Such material is an insult to the victims of a depraved regime and a stain on the reputation of the institutions which host its authors. The leading figures of SPM’s steering committee include three professors. None has expertise in Middle Eastern affairs and all display an exaggerated willingness to entertain any idea, however improbable, that acquits the regime of Vladimir Putin and its client in Damascus of abominable acts.
The Russian Embassy has sensationally claimed poisoned former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are being held prisoner by the UK. It published the strange allegations in an 8,000-word…
Another week, another summons to the Russian ambassador’s residence, whose Friday lunchtime press conferences are surely now meant to be understood as a daring avant gardist interpretation of Shaggy’s 2000 denialist reggae summer classic, “It Wasn’t Me”.

What does a 1995 murder say about Russian state involvement in the Skripal poisoning? | The Independent

This year, the talk has been of a poisoned door handle. Back in August 1995, the focus fell on the mouthpiece of a white telephone. According to court documents, it was from an office phone that banker Ivan Kivelidi and his secretary, Zara Ismailova, received lethal doses of a military-grade poison. Within two days, both would be dead.  The gruesome murder is considered a forerunner to the Skripal affair – the only other occasion that a poison resembling novichok was suspected in foul play.
British officials investigating the poisoning of Sergei V. Skripal and his daughter say a nerve agent was smeared on a handle at his home, a procedure it says Russia had long researched.
Theresa May released new intelligence on the Salisbury poisoning yesterday as she prepared to justify military action to prevent the collapse of a 100-year-old taboo on the use of chemical weapons.Britain’s security chief revealed that Russia spied on the former double agent Sergei Skripal in the fi
Russian intelligence agencies had been spying on Sergei and Yulia Skripal for at least five years before they were poisoned with a nerve agent, Britain’s National Security Adviser Mark Sedwill said…

Trump: ‘Mission Accomplished’ on Syria – POLITICO

Trump’s insistence on a &quot;Mission Accomplished,&quot; evinced memories of then-President George W. Bush speaking under a banner with those very words in May 2003.
President Trump on Saturday praised an allied nation airstrike on the Assad regime in Syria, thanking France and the United Kingdom and declaring “Mission Accomplished!”
First look at burning remains of Syrian chemical lab after airstrikes | Metro News
Dramatic footage has emerged showing the ruins of a chemical weapons research centre near Damascus following a night of Western airstrikes in Syria.  A video released by Syrian state TV…
The following is the full text of U.S. President Donald Trump’s remarks on Friday announcing military strikes targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons capabilities after a poison gas attack that killed at least 60 people last week.
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Good evening.  As the world knows, the Syrian people have suffered terribly under the prolonged brutality of the Assad regime.On April 7th, the regime decided to again defy the norms of civilized people, showing callous disregard for international law by,
U.S., French and British forces have struck targets in Syria as punishment for Syrian leader Bashar Assad using chemical weapons against his own people.,
Prime minister sets out why decision was taken to join US and France in military action
This evening I have authorized British armed forces to conduct co-ordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their use.
Cruise missile strikes against the Syrian regime should act as a warning to Russia over its use of chemical weapons, Theresa May has said.
Head of the French Ministry of Defense, Florence Parly, in her Twitter published a video of the missile launch aimed at military facilities in Syria on April 14
U.S. president warns of sustained action until use of chemical weapons stops
Theresa May says airstrikes on Syria are in Britain’s national interest and will uphold the century-old taboo on chemical weapons which would have collapsed if the Douma attack had gone unpunished. The prime minister said Britain and its allies, the United States and France, had no alternative to m
British had no alternative but to take military action to degrade Syria’s chemical weapons capability, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Saturday after ordering air-launched cruise missile strikes along with the United States and France.
Britain, the United States and France launched more than 100 airstrikes in a “one time shot” against Syria early this morning to stop President Assad from using chemical weapons.It was double the firepower of a US attack against a single Syrian air base a year ago, James Mattis, the US defence secre
Prime Minister Theresa May also says the co-ordinated attack was “right and legal”.
The United States, along with allies France and Britain, launched air strikes on Syria early on April 14 in response to an alleged Syrian chemical attack that killed dozens of people last week.
The assault has left some analysts puzzled, questioning its limited nature
The use of armed forces must remain consistent with the controlling law of war or humanitarian international law.
At a press conference, the Prime Minister described how an “international norm” over the use of chemical weapons was being eroded.
Opinion | Trump Strikes Back – The New York TimesDonald Trump gives orders for handling Syria, Mueller and Russia.
Russia denounced the attacks by the United States, France and Britain, but gave no sign of possible retaliation.
President Trump ordered the strikes in response to the suspected chemical weapons attack on April 7 by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Britain and France also took part.
President Trump on Friday announced that he has approved military strikes in Syria against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after an alleged chemical attack in the country.
“We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents,” Trump said in remarks from the White House.
The strikes sought to punish the Syrian government after what Western officials said was a deadly chemical attack in a Damascus suburb that had been held by rebels.
The strike on three Syrian targets was meant as a proportional response evidently calculated to keep Syria’s patrons, Russia and Iran, from retaliating.
The order comes almost exactly one year after the U.S. retaliated for a similar chemical attack. France and Britain have joined in the attack, Trump says.
The president said the U.S. is &quot;prepared to sustain: a response until the Syrian regime stops its use of chemical weapons
Pentagon briefing on strikes in Syria – YouTube </end editorial> The U.S. on Friday launched “precision” military strikes against targets inside Syria linked to recent chemical attacks, said President Trump in a statement from the White House. The strike is the culmination of days of threats by President Trump against the Syrian government over a suspected chemical attack against…
They say they hit chemical weapons sites in the biggest military action against President Assad so far.
President Trump addressed the nation, saying the US, UK and France launched sustained airstrikes on Syria in response to a chemical attack. Here’s the latest.
Russian has warned of “consequences” to air strikes which Prime Minister Theresa May says were “essential”, “right and legal”
Just minutes after Trump’s Friday night address, large explosions were reported at sites near Damascus and in the countryside of Homs.
The Trump administration’s close coordination with France and the U.K. to plan the strikes on the Syrian regime lays bare an alignment between the U.S. and its European allies despite deep divisions over other issues.
Germany does not intend to be involved in military action in Syria, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced, as reported by Die Welt. Germany does not intend to be involved in military action in Syria, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced, as reported by Die Welt. Merkel also said that Berlin will nevertheless do all it can to demonstrate that the use of chemical weapons is inadmissible. The day before, head of Germany’s “Greens” party Jürgen Trittin urged the German government to oppose the United States’ military response to the chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta. This idea also received support by other Bundestag politicians. Italy will also not take part in a military campaign in Syria. A statement to this effect was made by Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni after a discussion with the country’s ministers of foreign affairs and defense, Interfax reports. “Italy will not take part in combat in Syria,” he announced. However, Gentiloni emphasized that the country would comply with its international and bilateral agreements, and provide its allies with logistical support. The prime minister called for a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Syria. “A stable and long-lasting solution in Syria can only be achieved through a peaceful settlement, and by providing space for the UN to act,” he believes. Gentiloni shared his decision with with Chancellor Merkel in a phone call. Merkel …The US says it didn’t give Russia any advance warning about targets hit in Syria strikes | Business Insider
The US said it did not coordinate with Russia or notify the country of strikes Friday night on Syria, where Russia has military bases and soldiers. “We did not do any coordination with Russia on these strikes, and neither did we pre-notify them,” Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday night. “We did not coordinate targets or any planning with the Russians,” Dunford said later, speaking at a press briefing alongside Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis. The Joint Chiefs chairman confirmed that normal deconflicting lines were used. A French defence minister seemed to contradict that assertion early Saturday morning, saying Russia was warned ahead of time.Turkey welcomes US-led strikes targeting Assad regime in Syria
Turkey on April 14 welcomed Western strikes targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime as an “appropriate response” in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack that left dozens dead.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov has called air strikes launched by U.S., Britain, and France on Syrian military facilities a professional and appropriate response to the use of chemical weapons by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. The official noted that Russia’s aggressive statements and warnings failed to stop the just punishment for the Assad regime.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones broke down into tears as he railed against the airstrikes.
Senator Lindsey Graham joined Brian Kilmeade this morning on The Brian Kilmeade Show and expressed worry we do not have the right generals with the right mindset to deal with Syria. Graham also worries about any military action against Syria not being decisive enough to make Assad pay a big price wh
The Trump administration may say it wants a humanitarian intervention. But the strikes it’s considering fail to meet the criteria that would justify it.
Don’t believe President Trump when he says that air strikes against Bashar Assad are effective.
Barbara Lee is still right: the president has no authority to strike Syria without congressional authorization.
Read May: Don’t talk about the Cold War latest on ITV News. All the Politics, World news 
A new age of warfare has begun | News | The Times
What do the UK’s airstrikes against Syria mean? First, that it has stood with its allies against the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime to butcher its own people. Even amid the horror of the past seven years, chemical weapons — illegal under international law — are particularly indiscrimina