Syria

Re. the issue of downed cruise missiles, some have been id'd as obsolete Soviet era SAM, used to convince the willing that US/UK, etc missiles were downed: View attachment 331117
Ahem....you is wrong at this spotting Tomahawk for trolls picture shows..
 
I am surprised at the number of missiles directed at each target. A standard number or more than necessary, possibly from concern that Russia might have tried to defend against the attacks?
In the press conference the point was emphasized that twice as many missiles were used as the previous time. It is very likely that they started with a directive from on high with respect to the number of missiles to be used and worked backwards from there in terms of applying them to the targets they had plans for.

It wouldn't take a lot of imagination to guess who might have said "and I want it to be twice as big as the last time".
 
In the press conference the point was emphasized that twice as many missiles were used as the previous time. It is very likely that they started with a directive from on high with respect to the number of missiles to be used and worked backwards from there in terms of applying them to the targets they had plans for.

It wouldn't take a lot of imagination to guess who might have said "and I want it to be twice as big as the last time".
Precision Carpet Bombing? Trump's invented a new method of fighting. :)
 
Quite a difference in the Russian and Coalition accounts. According to this, investing in shares in Russian defence contractors would be a good idea:

Russian top brass reveals 'true targets' of US-led strikes against Syria

The Russian MoD claims seem way too rosy to be credible.
Here's the original Russian defence ministry press release the above story was based on. I find it useful to go back to the original source material as it often contains detail that the journalistic summary may gloss over.
Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry official Major General Igor Konashenkov (April 16, 2018) : Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

I haven't seen any sign of the Americans releasing similar detail in text form, but I did write a summary of a video released from a press conference in this post: https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/syria.161743/post-8522784

I'm going to try to line up the claims made by the Americans in their video press release together with corresponding claims from the two Russia press releases.

In the mean time, here's the US press release on what they say was the type of evidence they used in making their decision to bomb Syria.
President Donald J. Trump Has Taken Action to Stop Syrian Chemical Weapons Use

Here's the main points.
  • A large volume of high-resolution, reliable photos and video from Duma clearly document victims suffering from asphyxiation and foaming at the mouth, with no visible signs of external wounds.
  • Reliable intelligence indicates that Syrian military officials coordinated what appears to be the use of chlorine in Duma on April 7.
  • Credible medical personnel and organizations have reported symptoms of chlorine and sarin.
  • Eyewitness accounts report that an Mi-8 helicopter launched from a Syrian regime airfield was circling Duma at the time of the attack.
  • Photos of barrel bombs dropped in Duma closely match those previously used by the Assad regime.
  • Doctors and aid organizations on the ground in Duma reported the strong smell of chlorine and described symptoms consistent with exposure to sarin.

It basically amounts to local eye witness accounts, including photographs.
 
Here's the original Russian defence ministry press release the above story was based on. I find it useful to go back to the original source material as it often contains detail that the journalistic summary may gloss over.
Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry official Major General Igor Konashenkov (April 16, 2018) : Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

I haven't seen any sign of the Americans releasing similar detail in text form, but I did write a summary of a video released from a press conference in this post: https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/syria.161743/post-8522784

I'm going to try to line up the claims made by the Americans in their video press release together with corresponding claims from the two Russia press releases.

In the mean time, here's the US press release on what they say was the type of evidence they used in making their decision to bomb Syria.
President Donald J. Trump Has Taken Action to Stop Syrian Chemical Weapons Use

Here's the main points.
  • A large volume of high-resolution, reliable photos and video from Duma clearly document victims suffering from asphyxiation and foaming at the mouth, with no visible signs of external wounds.
  • Reliable intelligence indicates that Syrian military officials coordinated what appears to be the use of chlorine in Duma on April 7.
  • Credible medical personnel and organizations have reported symptoms of chlorine and sarin.
  • Eyewitness accounts report that an Mi-8 helicopter launched from a Syrian regime airfield was circling Duma at the time of the attack.
  • Photos of barrel bombs dropped in Duma closely match those previously used by the Assad regime.
  • Doctors and aid organizations on the ground in Duma reported the strong smell of chlorine and described symptoms consistent with exposure to sarin.

It basically amounts to local eye witness accounts, including photographs.
I'd be interested to read your analysis when it's complete (if you are happy to share).
Looking at the BBC story about Barzeh, (edit. Here: US-led strikes on Syria: What was hit?) and the before and after images, it seems that a total of 76 missiles is both excessive and, to the untrained, amateur eye - unlikely? Put another way, placing impact marks in the target area 76 times would leave almost no room - 20 cruise missiles x 1,000 lb warheads would do ample damage. Put another way again, does the 'after' image show damage of 76,000 lb of explosives? The blast radius of 1x warhead would be 250+ metres? The cars in the lower image are a good guide to scale.
I am not an apologist or tinfoil hatter. Just unsure about that specific post-strike photo.
1-157.jpg

1-30.jpg
 

TheIronDuke

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Yanqui Imperialist Aggressors. You will never win. I have a staple gun and I am not afraid to use it.

 
Quite a difference in the Russian and Coalition accounts. According to this, investing in shares in Russian defence contractors would be a good idea:

Russian top brass reveals 'true targets' of US-led strikes against Syria

The Russian MoD claims seem way too rosy to be credible.
Hopefully the OPCW FFM will get on site soon. Obviously, I'm not in some people's territory, but it seems rather suspicious that they have been held up and I don't give the 'because of the strikes' excuse much credence personally. After all, people were driving in their cars and standing on the ruins and of course Russians have already inspected the site saying they found nothing.

The 'usual suspects' will undoubtedly have their excuses laid out eg 'the Russians checked a different area' or some other 'nattily dressed' compromise. Only one way to tell, and that's for the OPCW FFM to do their inspection from the site and take their samples from people affected and killed.

U.S. suggests Russia, Syria may tamper with Douma evidence, Moscow...
The US believe that Russia are covering up evidence. Not sure why they would after all if it was JaI (British) plot and/or the Russians have already inspected the site and found nothing, what would they be covering up?
“It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site,” U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward said at an OPCW meeting in The Hague on Monday.

“It is our concern that they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation,” he said. His comments at the closed-door meeting were obtained by Reuters.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied that Moscow had interfered with any evidence. “I can guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site,” he told the BBC.
Britain concerned at the delays in getting the team on site:
Britain’s delegation to the OPCW accused Russia and the Assad government of stopping inspectors from reaching Douma.

“Unfettered access is essential,” the British delegation said in a statement. “Russia and Syria must cooperate.”

The team aims to collect samples, interview witnesses and document evidence to determine whether banned toxic munitions were used, although it is not permitted to assign blame for the attack.
They say they called for an investigation. Not sure on timelines on that personally as I believe it was requested and only when military action was threatened did they say there should be an investigation:
“We called for an objective investigation. This was at the very beginning after this information [of the attack] appeared. Therefore allegations of this towards Russia are groundless,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
It would appear the area is peaceful, so delays don't appear to be valid:
Syrian flags flew in Douma on Monday, security forces stood on street corners and Russian military police patrolled the streets. State aid trucks handed out bread, rice and pasta to people who had lived under siege for years.

A government-organised media tour did not include the building where, according to rescue workers and medics who were in town at the time, dozens of people were killed by poison gas.

Doctors at the hospital where suspected victims were treated told reporters on the tour that none of the patients that night had suffered chemical weapons injuries — they were asphyxiated by dust and smoke in a bombardment.

Medical aid groups and the White Helmets rescue organisation have said such statements - already aired on state television in recent days - were made under duress.
Even when we get the report and months down the line, there is no mechanism to apportion blame, so if there is CW found we'll get the 'what', 'where' and 'when' but not the fourth of the 5W's i.e. 'who' due to vetoes and of course 'why' can only be answered by the perpetrators.

Syria attack triggered Western action, but on the ground Assad gained
'Beard' and 'rebel scum' alert but the timelines appear to add up. JaI had separate talks with Russia for a deal. SAA and allies (okay, Russian Contractors, SAA Panther forces etc) had taken pretty much all of Ghouta and there was only Douma left. JaI wanted to remain, to 'administer' their area under Assad's govt control. The deal fell through. 'Alleged' CW attack and funnily enough JaI agreed with the terms and moved out to Idlib.
A couple of hours later, according to Alloush, mediators from the rebel group held talks with a team led by a senior officer from the Russian defence ministry.

“The threat came: ‘You saw what happened in Douma. Now you can only sign, or there will be more strikes and nobody left in the town’,” Alloush, who is based in Istanbul, told Reuters.

He blamed Russia for helping the Syrian army carry out the attack in order to end the rebellion.

“They bombed and bombed and we weren’t defeated by conventional weapons so they found the only way was to use chemical (weapons).”

-----------------

“Chemical weapons create more terror.”
Seems appropriate for this and a great many other threads: U.S., UK accuse Russian government-backed hackers in global cyber...
 
Hopefully the OPCW FFM will get on site soon. Obviously, I'm not in some people's territory, but it seems rather suspicious that they have been held up and I don't give the 'because of the strikes' excuse much credence personally. After all, people were driving in their cars and standing on the ruins and of course Russians have already inspected the site saying they found nothing.

The 'usual suspects' will undoubtedly have their excuses laid out eg 'the Russians checked a different area' or some other 'nattily dressed' compromise. Only one way to tell, and that's for the OPCW FFM to do their inspection from the site and take their samples from people affected and killed.

U.S. suggests Russia, Syria may tamper with Douma evidence, Moscow...
The US believe that Russia are covering up evidence. Not sure why they would after all if it was JaI (British) plot and/or the Russians have already inspected the site and found nothing, what would they be covering up?

Britain concerned at the delays in getting the team on site:

They say they called for an investigation. Not sure on timelines on that personally as I believe it was requested and only when military action was threatened did they say there should be an investigation:

It would appear the area is peaceful, so delays don't appear to be valid:


Even when we get the report and months down the line, there is no mechanism to apportion blame, so if there is CW found we'll get the 'what', 'where' and 'when' but not the fourth of the 5W's i.e. 'who' due to vetoes and of course 'why' can only be answered by the perpetrators.

Syria attack triggered Western action, but on the ground Assad gained
'Beard' and 'rebel scum' alert but the timelines appear to add up. JaI had separate talks with Russia for a deal. SAA and allies (okay, Russian Contractors, SAA Panther forces etc) had taken pretty much all of Ghouta and there was only Douma left. JaI wanted to remain, to 'administer' their area under Assad's govt control. The deal fell through. 'Alleged' CW attack and funnily enough JaI agreed with the terms and moved out to Idlib.


Seems appropriate for this and a great many other threads: U.S., UK accuse Russian government-backed hackers in global cyber...
On the delay issue, there are reports* (unconfirmed) of some fighting today between JaI 'stay behinds' and SAA in Douma. That could be a legitimate reason for delay, IF confirmed. However, I agree that the delay is in itself suspicious.
I have come around to your view re. the importance of the OPCW visit, and findings, but I think the report may mainly be of interest in an academic way as all sides will make of it something to suit their narrative.

Edit: @scalieback , the reports were from Tass....cough...
 
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I'd be interested to read your analysis when it's complete (if you are happy to share).
I'll post it in probably an hour or so.

Looking at the BBC story about Barzeh, (edit. Here: US-led strikes on Syria: What was hit?) and the before and after images, it seems that a total of 76 missiles is both excessive and, to the untrained, amateur eye - unlikely? Put another way, placing impact marks in the target area 76 times would leave almost no room - 20 cruise missiles x 1,000 lb warheads would do ample damage. Put another way again, does the 'after' image show damage of 76,000 lb of explosives? The blast radius of 1x warhead would be 250+ metres? The cars in the lower image are a good guide to scale. (...)
I think the phrase "making the rubble bounce" applies well to this case.

Using that many missiles on that target is however plausible if we go by the theory that they were told to use twice as many as the previous time and only had three targets lined up. The planners then had to scramble about finding out what missiles they had available where and simply duplicated the target coordinates for their existing plan. That would be why so many of the excess missiles were mainly directed at a set of office buildings in Damascus instead of the actual chemical weapons storage facilities near Homs.

That is, it makes sense if viewed as a last minute improvisation instead of a carefully laid plan.

The question that remains though is whether that many missiles ought to have done more damage to the target than they did. Parts of the buildings are still standing.

We might speculate - and this is speculation only - that the warheads may have been of reduced size to limit collateral damage. Note there is not much visible damage (visible at the scale we can see anyway) directly across the street.

Still, 76 missiles is a lot of missiles and the amount of damage caused seems rather small compared to the effort expended.
 
I'd be interested to read your analysis when it's complete (if you are happy to share).
Looking at the BBC story about Barzeh, (edit. Here: US-led strikes on Syria: What was hit?) and the before and after images, it seems that a total of 76 missiles is both excessive and, to the untrained, amateur eye - unlikely? Put another way, placing impact marks in the target area 76 times would leave almost no room - 20 cruise missiles x 1,000 lb warheads would do ample damage. Put another way again, does the 'after' image show damage of 76,000 lb of explosives? The blast radius of 1x warhead would be 250+ metres? The cars in the lower image are a good guide to scale.
I am not an apologist or tinfoil hatter. Just unsure about that specific post-strike photo. View attachment 331183
View attachment 331184
I’m no BDA expert but the Anna footage from the strike a year ago shows penetration to HAS (Hardened Aircraft Shelters). For all I know, the target may have been below ground.
 
On the delay issue, there are reports (unconfirmed) of some fighting today between JaI 'stay behinds' and SAA in Douma. That could be a legitimate reason for delay, IF confirmed. However, I agree that the delay is in itself suspicious.
:)
I have come around to your view re. the importance of the OPCW visit, and findings, but I think the report may mainly be of interest in an academic way as all sides will make of it something to suit their narrative.
It will undoubtedly, but as they say no CW and it was all a Brit plot ......If anything is found that is.
 
I'll post it in probably an hour or so.


I think the phrase "making the rubble bounce" applies well to this case.

Using that many missiles on that target is however plausible if we go by the theory that they were told to use twice as many as the previous time and only had three targets lined up. The planners then had to scramble about finding out what missiles they had available where and simply duplicated the target coordinates for their existing plan. That would be why so many of the excess missiles were mainly directed at a set of office buildings in Damascus instead of the actual chemical weapons storage facilities near Homs.

That is, it makes sense if viewed as a last minute improvisation instead of a carefully laid plan.

The question that remains though is whether that many missiles ought to have done more damage to the target than they did. Parts of the buildings are still standing.

We might speculate - and this is speculation only - that the warheads may have been of reduced size to limit collateral damage. Note there is not much visible damage (visible at the scale we can see anyway) directly across the street.

Still, 76 missiles is a lot of missiles and the amount of damage caused seems rather small compared to the effort expended.
One more comparison (there are some surprisingly decent images on the Web). Him Shimshar chemical weapons storage site. The BBC says:

'Gen McKenzie said 24 missiles hit the facility - nine US Tomahawk missiles, eight British Storm Shadow missiles, and 5 naval cruise missiles and 2 SCALP cruise missiles launched by France.'

himshinsharbeforeafter.jpg


This one seems to make more sense, to the amateur BDA-er as the three main buildings have vanished.
 
And as I suggested in several posts a few days ago, there is already a dispute over the site of the alleged chemical attack, who had access to it, and whether it had been "cleaned up". Chemical weapons inspection in Syria delayed as Russia, U.S. trade barbs over airstrikes | CBC News

The US has accused the Russians of having possibly tampered with the site.
The U.S. envoy to the global watchdog said Russia may have tampered with the site of the April 7 attack, which aid organizations say killed dozens of men, women and children.
And the Russians have denied it.
U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward levied the accusation against Russia during a closed-door meeting at the OPCW, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied allegations of interference.
It looks like both sides are set up for a "he said, she said" type of argument before the investigation has even started.
 
U.S. military chiefs to brief Congress on Syria behind closed doors
I assume this will be a tad more interesting and informed than the information they gave the public on Saturday morning:
U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford will brief the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives about Syria behind closed doors on Tuesday afternoon, congressional aides said on Monday.

Many U.S. lawmakers have been pushing President Donald Trump’s administration for more information about its Syria policy, especially since the weekend bombing of Syria by Washington and allies over a chemical weapons attack.

The House briefing will take place at 2:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT) and the Senate’s at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT).
DoD Press Briefing saturday 14th April 2018: Department of Defense Press Briefing by Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White and Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. in the Pentagon Briefing Room > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Transcript View
 
Edit: @scalieback , the reports were from Tass....cough...
Just seen that. Thanks. In an area already inspected by the Russians, that the Reuters report above mentions people going about their daily lives including the hospital, over a week later has ‘stay behind hardline jihadists’?

Not impossible of course. IS have re-entered cleared areas in the past in both Iraq and Syria. Still, as you say, reported by TASS just as the OPCW FFM arrive.........
 

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