Preliminary War Report: Coalition Attack Fully Neutralized by AA Defence Systems
By Kennedy Applebaum
April 14, 2018, 06:30 UTC
Last edit: April 14, 2018, 16:00 UTC
The United States, Britain and France, under orders from Presidents Trump, May and Macron, have bombed or attempted to bomb at least three sites around Damascus, Syria in a one hour, three-wave, cruise missile attack that occured tonight. The strike was allegedly launched in retaliation for Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s purported recent use of chemical weapons near Douma, an allegation for which there is little or no evidence. The attack coincided with the planned arrival in Syria of investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), who were intending to verify whether chemical weapons had actually been used.
Numerous loud blasts were heard over Damascus between 01:00 and 02:30 UTC April 14, according to local witnesses. Many of the explosions were due to intercepting missile launches.
Reliable Twitter source AJSB reports that apparently the first wave of cruise missiles didn’t come from the Mediterranean but from Jordan or via Jordan from the Red Sea or KSA. Cruise missiles attempting to hit a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) missile base were intercepted. The SAA also intercepted another cruise missile in the Homs area. An attempted attack on Jamraya fully failed and was neutralized. Furthermore, in the south of Damascus, over 13 cruise missiles were intercepted.
In the second wave of strikes, the SAA missile base again came under attack. Russian AA systems were reported in action, intercepting cruise missiles in the air. Some of the missiles were incoming from over Lebanon, leading to suspicions that Israel had also launched an attack. Several reports claim at least four civilians were killed when two cruise missiles hit a Damascus residential area.
Pantsir AA Systems, which are equipped with not only missiles but also high speed AA guns controlled by radar, were, according to observer AJSB, also used to intercept cruise missiles during the strikes. By 01:46 UTC, the first two waves of cruise missiles had failed to hit the SAA base in the Damascus area. However, when the third wave began, missiles did manage to strike the empty air base at Dumayr. Simultaneously, ISIS (Daesh) also launched a ground attack against Damascus but was repelled by the Syrian Arab Army.
AJSB further reports that, after some initial missile hits, civilians in Damascus were laughing as they video recorded from balconies SAA AA defences firing and successfully intercepting in the air the aggressor cruise missiles. Despite many apparently false reports to the contrary, the Damascus airport, where a large part of Syrian Air Force was said to be stationed, was not hit in the strikes. US cruise missiles did however hit the empty Hezbollah base in Qusayr.
By 02:39 UTC the strikes were reported over, with no further attacks planned. It was confirmed by many locals that Russian Air Force planes had taken off from their base in Latakia. Apparently the Russian planes scrambled in the direction of al Tanf, but at that moment, the USA-led cruise missile attack came to an end. Twitter source AJSB says, “In the beginning, it seemed that they were launching non-stop wave after wave of missiles till they get all their targets destroyed…and suddenly, they stopped and gave up (and as an example, they completely failed to destroy or even hit the SAA Missile base)…this was odd.”
It is not clear that the coalition launched more missiles tonight than during last year’s April 2017 Tomahawk strike on Syria’s Shayrat Air Base. According to AJSB, all in all the operation was a failure for the US and its “ISIS buddies”, as most of the incoming missiles were intercepted. AJSB says, “Direct military escalation is out of question because Russia and the SAA completely neutralised any real effects of this attack with extremely low damage or losses if any.”
AJSB sums up by remarking, “Indeed, [the attack was] completely underwhelming. It even gave the notion that the number [of missiles] was much smaller than a year ago. The clear defeat of this attack made against Syria by the USA, UK and France will mark the beginning of the end of Western hegemony. Russia and the SAA successfully mounted a well oiled AA system [counter-attack] that for all purposes fully neutralized the air strikes. Not even Assad’s Palace was hit.”
QI editor’s note: This article is based largely on reports tweeted as the event was happening by on-the-spot Twitter source @A_J_S_B. We verified the accuracy of AJSB’s reporting during the Donbass war in the years 2014 and 2015, and consider this source among the most reliable.