My reading of the attack is that it is a highly choreographed non-attack, fake news attack.
Not real. Having the Chinese President at his side, and hitting empty fields, Trump (and Putin) prevents a real attack and might even set the stage for a backlash against possible false flag attacks.
Don’t kid yourselves, Trump is bluffing. All he can do and all he is doing is hard bargaining the “controlled demolition” of the US. He might get an extra 10 years from Xi. But the writing is on the wall and has been for some time.
Can you imagine Trump notified the Russians in advance: “herefrom these two little ships we will volley our cruise missiles, just over your heads, you can see them with naked eye”. And the Russians were “defeated”, just like that. This a war-story for children.
Nothing is real in this episode.