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Tactical Distraction Helped Airstrike on Assad’s Chemical Weapons Targets

 In Foreign, Military

How did the US, UK, and France avoid a major response in Syria after they dumped 105 missiles on some of Assad’s Chemical Weapons targets this last week? It was a little bit of tactical distraction that did it, according to an article in Stripes.

The plan to strike back against Assad’s evil actions was extremely difficult. How to hit him without drawing immediate fire from Russian defenses that are far more advanced than Syria’s?  President Trump, our very own “tweeter,” seemed to have helped. And the military meetings with the President revealed a strong sense of unity among the top leaders.

Two US Destroyers, the USS Winston Churchill, and the USS Donald Cook can carry at least 90 Tomahawk missiles each.  But it was a tactical plan meant to distract Russia. They were poised with the allied Flotilla to supposedly rain down devastation on Assad. Neither ship fired a shot, according to an article in Stars and Stripes. Instead, the Pentagon stated that they received little interference as they smacked the Chemical weapons targets.

Left: before  Right: after at Him Shinsar

“No Syrian weapon had any effect on anything we did.” Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie

Stripes reported,

According to the Pentagon, the allied weaponry included 19 new “Extended-Range” stealthy Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Attack Munitions launched by two B-1B bombers based out of Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and six Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from the Virginia-class USS John Warner submarine. The bomber-launched missiles, build by Lockheed Martin Corp., had never previously been used in combat.

The cruiser USS Monterey fired 30 Tomahawks and the destroyer USS Laboon fired seven Tomahawks from the Red Sea. The destroyer USS Higgins fired 23 Tomahawks from the North Arabian Gulf, according to McKenzie.

The weapons also included French SCALP-EG cruise missiles and British Storm Shadow standoff missiles launched by Tornado and Typhoon jets. Nine SCALP missiles were fired at what the Pentagon said was a chemical weapons storage complex at Hims-Shinshar, along with two SCALPS, nine Tomahawks and eight Storm Shadows.

So why didn’t Russia turn New York City into a glass parking lot like he it seemed he would? Because he has no desire to have it happen to his country. No Russian defenses were engaged in the air strike, and the Syrian ones only went off after the strike had already hit their targets.

As much as some would like our President to stop tweeting what seems to be harsh rhetoric…in this case it kept the casualties to zero. Are we done with the chemical wepaons issue? Not even close.

It is highly likely that Assad still has plenty of chemical weapons in his arsenal. But this time with three nations targeting him, it may at least let him know that it’s not just Trump watching his actions.

 

Featured photo: screenshot via The National World

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