S300 is Operational in Syria, Today — Delivered Units Deployed Already

Editor’s note: President Assad announced today that the Russian made S300 air defense system is operational in Syria already, with the first delivery days ago. He announced that a second delivery is due and expected.

This announcement was published today in Pravda:

Israel likes to bomb Syria and get away with it. However, with S-300 air defence systems deployed in the war-torn country, Tel Aviv will have to negotiate with Bashar Assad, military expert Andrei Koshkin believes.

Israel can learn many lessons with the help of Russia's S-300 air defence systems in Syria. 62403.jpeg

Source: Mil.ru

On April 25, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would respond accordingly, if Damascus uses S-300 systems against Israeli Air Force. Would it be better for Israel to stop bombing Syria given that S-300 systems are purely defensive weapons?

According to political scientist Andrei Koshkin, head of the department of political science and sociology at the Plekhanov Russian Economic University, Israel was worried in 2010 as well, when Russia and Syria agreed on the supplies of S-300 air defence systems. Russia subsequently canceled the deal after Western countries insisted Moscow should not ship its air defence systems to Damascus. These days, however, it has become obvious that the Western coalition likes to invade sovereign states with impunity and punish those who want to stop the West from acting so, Andrei Koshkin said.

Israel does not have a peace treaty with Syria, so Tel Aviv feels like it can attack those that pose a threat to the security of Israel.

Russian President Putin described the missile attack on Syria on the night of April 14 as an act of aggression. Syrian air defences destroyed 70 out of 100 missiles that the coalition launched. Undoubtedly, Israel’s attack on Syria’s T-4 base, where people were killed, should be considered an aggressive act as well, the political scientist told Pravda.Ru.

According to him, the S-300 Favorit modified complex can destroy all carriers, including missiles. In a nutshell, it allows to neutralise any aggression from air. According to the expert, the statement from Russia’s Defence Ministry about the supplies of S-300 systems to Syria forces aggressive states, like Israel, to bethink themselves and negotiate.

“The situation inspires optimism, because it translates armed confrontation into diplomatic negotiations.” It is S-300 systems that can make reason prevail over lawlessness. Just one statement from Russia was enough to make everyone in the Middle East quiet,” Andrei Koshkin told Pravda.Ru.

Interestingly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a briefing in Beijing that the question about the shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria had not been resolved yet. However, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad said that S-300 missile systems had been delivered to Syria last month.

See more at http://www.pravdareport.com/world/asia/syria/25-04-2018/140863-s_300_syria-0/

The Fiasco of the Bombing Raid on Syria

by Thierry Meyssan

The more time passes since the allied attack against Syria on 14 April 2018, the more the available information reveals the amplitude of the disaster. While the United States still mange to prevent leaks from their armies, those from France are irrevocable. Washington, Paris and London clearly demonstrated that they still intend to rule the world, but they also showed that they no longer have the means to do so.

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One week after the allied attack against Syria, very many questions remain unanswered concerning the objectives of this operation and its implementation. And the few established facts contradict the official Western declarations.

The objectives of the bombing

According to the Western version of the story, these bombing attacks were not aimed at overthrowing the Syrian Arab Republic (which they call « Bachar’s régime »), but to sanction the use of chemical weapons.

However, no proof of the use of such weapons has been published. Instead, the three allies each broadcast evaluations based on the original video published by the White Helmets [1] — a video which was itself later contradicted by many of the people who appear in it, as well as the personnel of the hospital where it was filmed [2].

On the contrary, we are justified in asking whether the real objective of these raids may indeed have been to overthrow the Republic. This seems to be confirmed by the fact that missiles were fired at the Presidential palace in Damascus. This is also the interpretation by Russia, for whom the real Allied objective was to counter the « success of the Syrian armed forces in the fight to liberate their territory from international terrorism ».

The destruction of the pharmaceutical research centre in Barzeh remains a mystery. This installation was in no way secret. It had been created with the help of France. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons inspected it five times and found nothing that could be linked to research on chemical weapons [3]. According to officials, in the context of international sanctions, the laboratory was carrying out research on anti-cancer products. It was not guarded, and there were no victims in the collapse of the buildings. Neither did the collapse cause the dispersion of chemical agents into the atmosphere. This situation can not help but remind us of the destruction by the United States of the Al-Shifa factory in Sudan. In 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered its destruction, implemented by a salvo of four Tomahawk missiles, for a cost of one dead and ten wounded. The US intelligence services had assured that the laboratory was developing nerve gases for Oussama Ben Laden. It turned out later that it was Sudan’s main centre for the production of generic medicines [4]. In particular, it made anti-AIDS medicine without paying the license to Gilead Science, a company directed by Donald Rumsfeld and George Schultz [5].

The implementation of the operation

The Allies claim to have fired 105 missiles, while the Russians counted 103 [6]. The coordination between the different armies was handled by NATO, although it claimed no responsibility [7]. In conformity with its statutes, the Organisation acted with the approval of the North Atlantic Council, although this is not yet certain. Indeed, the Council had not been consulted before the bombing of Tripoli (Libya), in 2011, and no-one protested. The aim of this coordination was to ensure that all the missiles fired, whether from the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the air, would all hit their targets at the same moment. However, things did not go as planned – although the Allied operation was to have been finished within half an hour, in fact it took 1 hour and 46 minutes between the first and final shot.

Prior to the attack, Russia had announced that it would riposte if any of its soldiers were killed. The Allied armies were therefore tasked with the mission of being careful to spare them.

However, the Russian army observed the shots and transmitted the coordinates of the Allied missiles to the Syrian Arab Army in real time, in order to allow the Syrians to destroy them. Besides this, when the Syrians became swamped by the number of allied missiles, the Russian army deployed its system for inhibiting the commands and controls of NATO, which paralysed most of their launchers. This was the first time that the French were confronted with this system, which had already caused problems for the United States and the British in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and Kaliningrad.

Besides this, two Russian ships left the port of Tartus to play cat and mouse with a British nuclear attack submarine. [8].

According to the Russian and Syrian staff, 73 missiles were destroyed in flight, a figure which is haughtily contested by the Allied staff. Yet, on the ground, everyone – including myself – could see the activity of the anti-aircraft defense, and no-one saw the impacts of the 105 allied missiles announced.

The Allies immediately specified that any more precise information was classified. However, the specialised forums proffered all sorts of unverifiable revelations about the massive failure of this operation. The most that we know for certain is that a French plane was unable to fire one of its missiles, and was obliged to jettison it out to sea without triggering it [9], and that two French multi-mission frigates suffered a computer failure and were unable to fire their naval Cruise missiles [10] — these are symptoms that are well known by anyone who has had to face up to the Russian inhibitor weapon.

The Syrian defence was over-run by the number of missiles which were fired from every direction. It therefore chose to defend in priority certain targets, like the Presidential palace, and to sacrifice others like the research centre in Bazeh. Since then, Russia has announced that it will be delivering new anti-missile batteries to Syria.

In any case, this operation is clearly the greatest military fiasco since the Second World War.

Western rhetoric

These bombings are certainly illegal from the point of view of international law – none of the three aggressors has been attacked by the Syrian Arab Republic, and their action was not authorised by the Security Council.

The Allies therefore communicated about the legality of their initiative. This was denied by the legal service of the German Bundestag. [11]. Indeed, apart from the fantastical character of the supposed attack in the Ghouta, this type of bombing in no way guarantees an end to the suffering of the civil population.

As for France, it continually stressed that it was not going to war against « Bachar’s regime » – comments that were immediately contradicted by Syria, which returned President el-Assad’s Grand Cross of the Légion d’Honneur to the Romanian ambassador, who represents French interests in Damascus. « There is no honour for President Assad in wearing a decoration attributed by a slave régime of the United States which supports terrorists », declared the Presidential spokesman.

Some authors close to NATO evoke the « responsibility of protection » (R2P) proclaimed by the UNO. Once again, that’s not the point. In fact, the R2P only applies in order to compensate failed states, which is clearly not the case of the Syrian Arab Republic, whose public services are still functioning after 7 years of war.

Finally, while the United States, France and the United Kingdom showed with this operation that they exist outside of international law, they also showed that their armies are not what they used to be.

Thierry Meyssan

Pete Kimberley

[1] “United States Assessment of the Assad Regime’s Chemical Weapons Use”, Voltaire Network, 13 April 2018. « Évaluation nationale du ministère français de la Défense sur l’attaque chimique du 7 avril 2018 », Réseau Voltaire, 14 avril 2018. “Syria action – UK government legal position”, Voltaire Network, 14 April 2018.

[2] “Witnesses take the sting out of the charge made by the White Helmets”, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 14 April 2018.

[3] Last inspection : “Progress in the elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons programme”, by Ahmet Üzümcü , Voltaire Network, 23 March 2018.

[4] “Universalism and the West. An Agenda for Understanding”, in «The Future of War», Werner Daum, Harvard International Review, Vol. 23 (2) – Summer 2001.

[5] “War as a World Strategy”, Voltaire Network, 19 March 2003.

[6] “General Staff Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy holds briefing dealing with western attack against Syria”, by Sergei Rudskoy, Voltaire Network, 14 April 2018.

[7] “Fake “made in USA” and lies “made in Italy””, by Manlio Dinucci, Il Manifesto (Italy) , Voltaire Network, 17 April 2018.

[8] “British submarine in duel with Kremlin’s ‘Black Hole’ hunter-killer”, Mark Hookham & Tim Ripley, The Times, 16 avril 2018.

[9] «Frappes en Syrie : un des missiles Scalp « n’est pas parti » du Rafale», Guerric Poncet, Le Point, 18 avril 2018.

[10] «Couacs inexpliqués pour les missiles de MBDA au large des côtes syriennes», La Lettre A, 17 avril 2018. «Frappes en Syrie : un couac dans la marine a empêché le tirs de plusieurs missiles», Pierre Julien, RTL, 19 avril 2018.

[11] “Völkerrechtliche Implikationen des amerikanisch-britischfranzösischen Militärschlags vom 14. April 2018 gegen Chemiewaffeneinrichtungen in Syrien”, Bundestag, 18. April 2018.

Jacob Rothschild: US Has Allies Among Russian Elites


October 6, 2016 – Fort Russ –

Plekhov,Cenznet.com – Translated from Russian by Kristina Kharlova

80-year-old member of the Rothschild dynasty, Jacob Rothschild is confident that the United States can find support in some of the Russian elites, he said on American political TV show.

“The current crisis may last much less time than the cold war. At the moment the US has allies among the Russian elites, who are ready to take over the initiative. In this scenario, ordinary people will not notice anything. The course of Russia’s foreign policy will change – this will be presented as some kind of achievement of Russian diplomacy,” – said Rothschild.

Meanwhile Rothschild is sure that the so-called conflict of the Russian elites is in the final stage.

“A part of Russian elite insists that the Russian leadership pushes for the lifting of sanctions. Part are against concessions to the West. Next year we’ll know who won,” – said Rothschild.

It is worth noting that since September 30, 2016, a video of the famous Donbass defender Igor Girkin (Strelkov) lashing out at Putin has been circulating online. Strelkov makes it clear that his followers are ready to protest, and did not shy from personal insults towards Putin.

Earlier those Russian experts who favor Putin dubbed Strelkov “the fifth column”. Who is Strelkov’s sponsor remains a mystery.



Every country has its patriots and traitors, and it’s no doubt that Rothschild is not exaggerating. He seems very well informed for a government outsider. Strelkov is the least of Putin’s worries. The tentacles of the sprout reach far and wide and there is no doubt America has its ‘allies’ deeply planted in every strategic sector of the Russian society. But so they did in the 90’s but it did not prevent an emergence of a new strong and defiant leader seemingly out of nowhere. Undoubtedly America succeeded in enslaving much of the world, but Russia is no stranger to such attempts. Whenever Russia was plunged into dark times it has found its way out.

Apparently for America a victory means complete defeat and surrender of the opponent, which is consistent with it’s adherence to the law of the jungle in international politics. It has worked so far as long as 95% of global population are content with the status quo. However everyone understands that sharing a pie is better than giving it all to one, and global leaders and their constituents are watching Putin’s moves with envy and anticipation. In that regard we can safely conclude that Putin himself has many more silent allies among global elites than he is even aware of.

Russia’s New Energy Gamble

Authored by Bruno Maçães via The Cairo Review,

Russia aims to position itself as a leader among energy-producing equals in Eurasia. Since 2015, Russia has sought to play a more active role in the Middle East, setting its sights on the region’s energy resources to achieve this strategic goal…

Having abandoned any attempt to join the Western global political order, Russia seems to have quickly found a new self-image: as the center and core of the Eurasian supercontinent, it can reach in all directions and provide a bridge between Europe and China on both ends. In this context, the Middle East has emerged as a central axis of Russia’s strategic concerns, perhaps for the first time in the country’s history.

In his recent book What Is Russia Up To in the Middle East?, Dmitri Trenin shows how the Middle East was always marginal to Russian geopolitical interests. When progressing south, Russian military expansion had its eyes on the Balkans or Istanbul, in some periods extending to British India, Afghanistan or northern Iran, but a serious push beyond those areas was never considered. Against Ottoman Turkey, Russia waged twelve wars. It took the czarist army half a century to prevail over the mountaineers of the North Caucasus. Russia also conquered Central Asia and invaded Afghanistan, a military adventure that left little appetite for a return to the heart of the Muslim world. But neither the Russian Empire nor the Soviet Union had ever fought directly in Arab lands. In 2015, something genuinely new and unexpected took place. Russia stepped into the Syrian conflict.

Any exercise considering what the Kremlin’s intentions and goals might have been has to start by noting how Syria offered a unique opportunity for promoting Russian strategic interests. By 2015 the United States had exhausted all choices there and showed signs of disinterest and disengagement. A Russian military intervention would constitute something of a revolution in global affairs. For the first time since the end of the Cold War, a country other than the United States would be projecting military force far away from its borders without consulting or involving Washington in the decision.

Syria had never been considered important for Russian national interests, but in the new global landscape that would quickly change. After all, Syria was a critical issue for Turkey and Iran. The refugee crisis was affecting the European Union in powerful ways and China saw the Syrian corridor linking West and Central Asia to the Mediterranean as potentially decisive for the “Belt and Road” initiative, its project of trade and infrastructure development across the Eurasian supercontinent.

With every other major actor reluctant to get involved in the Syrian civil war, Russia had an opening—not to solve the political and humanitarian crisis but to become the most important factor in any future solution.

Once these initial elements were considered, more interesting possibilities started to appear. Between 2013 and 2015, the Russian economy had been under extreme pressure, not so much because of the sanctions imposed after the Ukraine crisis but as a result of the precipitous fall in energy prices. As a major oil and gas producer, Russia had neglected to prioritize energy geopolitics, paying a steep price for that. While China, highly dependent on inward energy flows, had spent decades extending its influence and leverage in Central Asia, Africa, and South America—preparing for all possibilities and diversifying energy supply routes—Russia knew it had more energy resources within its borders than it could ever need and customers were forever assured a more or less mechanical result of a growing and more balanced global economy. But that set of assumptions neglected how other producers can hit your interests by manipulating market prices.

By 2015 the Kremlin was certain that the United States and Saudi Arabia were deliberately lowering oil market prices to squeeze Russia and Iran. With their budgets so highly dependent on oil revenues, Iran and Russia could be effectively pressured into limiting their expansionist agendas. One could even hope that they would become more inclined to abandon their nuclear ambitions, in the case of Iran, and aggressions against Ukraine, in the case of Russia.

At the end of 2015, a 10 percent cut in public spending in Russia was the best evidence of the growing stress from the pincer movement of international sanctions and low energy prices in an economy that depends on crude at $100 a barrel. Faced with a direct challenge, Russia decided that the Middle East was now the arena where its future would be decided.

One Map, Three Regions

In October 2017, Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin took the unusual step of presenting a geopolitical report on the “ideals of Eurasian integration” to an audience in Verona, Italy. One of the maps projected on the screen during the presentation showed the supercontinent—what Russian circles call “Greater Eurasia”—as divided between three main regions. For Sechin, the crucial division is not between Europe and Asia, but between regions of energy consumption and regions of energy production. The former are organized on the western and eastern edges of the supercontinent: Europe, including Turkey, and the Asia Pacific, including India.

Between them we find three regions of energy production: Russia and the Arctic, the Caspian, and the Middle East. Interestingly, the map does not break these three regions apart, preferring to draw a delimitation line around all three. They are contiguous, thus forming a single bloc, at least from a purely geographic perspective.

Sechin’s map has a number of other interesting elements. As noted already, Turkey is left on the European side of the line delimiting the energy production core in the west. The same is true for Ukraine, which although unavoidable in this context is still an unusual inclusion in a map sanctioned by the highest echelons of Russian state power. If one looks at the world through the prism of energy geopolitics, then Ukraine is a European country—a consumer, not a producer.

Some of the most persistent foci of conflict in the contemporary world are located on the delimitation line between regions of energy production and energy consumption: eastern Ukraine, northern Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and North Korea. The fact may not be entirely coincidental. Many of these transition zones have become valuable prizes in the global fight for energy resources, with major powers often supporting rival internal factions in their bids for influence and control.

In other cases, the “foci of conflict” are transit hubs for energy flows, determining who has control over them in case of future conflict. More interestingly, transition zones are often fault lines between different political and economic models. It seems to be the case, for example, that the attempt to create a form of personal rule in Syria in the absence of oil wealth created the need for sectarian politics.

Sectarianism—the persistent promotion of mistrust and conflict between different ethnic or religious groups—functions as an alternative to oil, a form of compensation for the lack of oil resources such as those at the disposal of royal families of the Arab Gulf. It provides the ruling elite with a third method of obtaining consent from the governed, distinct from both oil patronage and the social rights of a developed democracy. Lost between two competing models, Syria has been unable to develop a genuinely stable variety of consensual politics.

The map illustrates an important point about Russia’s new self-image. From the point of view of energy geopolitics, Europe and the Asia Pacific are perfectly equivalent, providing alternative sources of demand for energy resources. Russia has been struggling to abandon its traditional orientation toward Europe, hoping to benefit from the flexibility of being able to look both east and west to promote its interests. It seems that Sechin and Rosneft can place themselves in that position much more effortlessly.

Sechin’s map subtly makes one final—and decisive—point. As you consider the three areas it delimits, it becomes apparent that two of them are already led and organized by a leading actor: Germany in the case of Europe and China for the Asia Pacific. Production chains within these highly industrial regions are increasingly managed by German or Chinese companies, which tend to reserve the higher value segments for themselves. Their spheres of influence extend to all important inputs, with one glaring exception: energy. In order to address this vulnerability, the two regions of energy consumption will be attracted to the core region, where they need to ensure ready and secure access to energy resources. And their efforts may well be made easier by the fact that the core region of energy production lacks a hegemon capable of ensuring its survival as an autonomous unit in the Eurasian system.

One further and decisive factor must be mentioned here. As the United States drastically increased its oil and gas production over the last ten years—a result of the shale gas revolution—its role in global energy geopolitics started to shift. Two trends have become dominant.

First, Washington no longer sees the Middle East as critically important for its safety and prosperity. What was a constant of American foreign policy for almost a century now seems open to revision. If domestic supply can now take the place of imports, the United States is less pressured to invest in peace and stability in the Middle East. It is not difficult to speculate that its response to the Syrian civil war would have been different—much more active and resolute—before the shale gas revolution. This fact naturally opened opportunities for Russia, already discussed above.

Second, the new energy abundance in the United States might justify using energy as a geopolitical tool—steering energy flows and influencing market prices so as to reward friendly states and punish others. As we have seen, the Kremlin grew convinced that the United States was doing just that with regards to Russia and Iran. Attempts to use energy markets to drive geopolitical outcomes reinforced Russia’s conviction that it needed to acquire higher levels of dominance in global energy markets, pushing it to intervene more actively in the Middle East.

It is from this perspective that Russia’s renewed interest in the region must be understood. By consolidating all three energy-producing regions under its leadership, Russia can take the decisive step in shaping the new Eurasian system. Its interests lie more decisively in organizing a common political will for the core region than in recovering the old dreams of integration with Europe.

That the Syria military intervention is now regarded as a success—while the intervention in Ukraine led nowhere—may point to the fact that the former, but not the latter, took into account the facts of geopolitics.

On the one hand, Russia feels at home in the Middle East. The pursuit of shifting goals against a background of persistent chaos or state disorder appeals to Russian strategic culture and its early success in Syria was quickly put to use. Suddenly Russia became an important interlocutor for every country in the region. Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Israel all have significant interests in Syria, so they all need Russia, the new effective overlord above Bashar Al-Assad. On the other hand, Russian leverage in Europe and China depends on the extent to which Moscow is able to increase its control over energy production. Efforts after 2013 to engage China as a growing destination for its energy exports suffered from the obvious difficulty that China had already developed a diversified pool of suppliers and was therefore in a position to dictate purchasing terms that Russia found unattractive.

That a deal was finally reached with Saudi Arabia at the end of 2016 to collectively reduce oil production and give a boost to global oil prices is a direct result of Russia’s ability to influence decisions in the Middle East. Less than a year later, the agreement achieved its objective of raising oil prices to a level of $60 per barrel. King Salman’s visit to Russia in October 2017 was the first ever by a Saudi monarch. With Russia facing a new set of sanctions, Moscow now appears interested in exploring new sources of investment and capital. They may well include Saudi Arabia, following the announcement of more than $3 billion in potential investment deals upon the king’s visit.

Energy Diplomacy

In two other maps, Sechin proceeded to show how energy projects offer the best example of Eurasian integration. Major companies from Europe, Russia, China and elsewhere typically pool capital and expertise, investing in exploration and refining projects from Scotland and Egypt to Vietnam and Indonesia. Eurasian integration implies the participation of energy consumers in energy production through investments in the shareholder capital of producers. Rosneft is a good example, with 50 percent of shares owned by the Russian state and stakes from BP, Qatar Investment Authority, Glencore, and CEFC China Energy.

Moscow’s attempts to spread itself across the Middle East can be understood through a series of deals signed in the last two years. The oil and gas giant LUKOIL, the second largest company in Russia after Gazprom, is in negotiations to start production at the newly discovered Eridu field in Iraq. Gazprom Neft, Gazprom’s oil arm, has taken exploration blocks in Iraqi Kurdistan while also operating the Badra field in southern Iraq. Rosneft has signed cooperation agreements in Kurdistan and Libya and has bought a 30 percent stake in Egypt’s giant Zohr offshore gas field.

The very same day he delivered his speech on Eurasian geopolitics, Sechin announced that Rosneft would take control of Iraqi Kurdistan’s main oil pipeline, boosting its investment in the autonomous region to $3.5 billion, despite Baghdad’s military action sparked by a Kurdish vote for independence. The move helped shield Kurdistan from increasing pressure from Baghdad.

Two weeks later, Sechin went on to sign a preliminary pact with the National Iranian Oil Company, the first step before a binding deal to participate in Iran’s oil and gas projects over the next few years, with investments totaling up to $30 billion and a production plateau of 55 million tons of oil per year.

Four Russian oil companies have even begun negotiating for opportunities in Syria, a venture driven as much by politics as by commercial interest. The aim is not to explore and extract Syria’s modest petroleum reserves, of course. By actively participating in rebuilding and operating Syrian oil and gas infrastructure, Russian energy companies will be in control of a critical transit route for Iranian and Qatari oil and gas heading to Europe, bringing two rival producers closer to its orbit and tightening its stranglehold on the European gas supply. In 2009, Qatar proposed to run a natural gas pipeline through Syria and Turkey to Europe. Instead, Al-Assad forged a pact with Iran to build a pipeline from the Persian Gulf and then through Iraq and Syria and under the Mediterranean. This project had to be postponed because of the war. When it is resumed, Russia will be in control.

It is in the very nature of the Eurasian system described by Sechin that the core energy production region—provided it is sufficiently united and organized—will benefit from its central position, being able to pick and choose between east and west in order to obtain the most favorable terms. Russia and the Middle East are now part of the same geopolitical unit. It took the Russian military intervention in Syria for the world to start to come to terms with this reality.

Revisiting 9/11, Betty Ong, and the Mystery of “Black Betty”

Jonathan Revusky’s website is: HeresyCentral.com

Dead Chinese flight attendants tell no tales. Or do they?

A couple of years ago, maybe in a fit of nostalgia, I recalled the fearless Chinese superwoman, Betty Ong, and was looking for information about her. She has a Wikipedia page with a short (very short, minimal) biographical blurb. Betty was born in San Francisco on 5 February 1956 and, after a rather uneventful life in which she never married or had children or, apparently, much of a social life, made a phone call from a hijacked plane, and then died.

Now, at this point in the exposition, I shall make no bones about the fact that I quickly developed great doubts regarding whether this Betty Ong is a real, flesh and blood person. As much as I looked, I could not find any description of this person that sounded like it was written by somebody who really knew her. The Wikipedia blurb is one thing, but the memorial website maintained by her ostensible family is another. It jumped out at me that whoever had written the description of Betty on that site, obviously never knew this person.

Now, from the point of view of 9/11 Truth investigations, the only important thing to establish regarding Betty Ong is whether the phone call she allegedly made is real. Whether Betty Ong herself is real hardly matters. The general view in the 9/11 Truth community is that all the phone calls allegedly made from hijacked airplanes on that day, including Betty’s, are plainly fake.

My own view is that, while Betty Ong being a real person is not of any importance regarding 9/11 per se, the issue has a more general significance. If you can establish one case of an invented vicsim in a synthetic event, then there are surely other cases in other synthetic events and narratives. (And probably in the 9/11 narrative itself.)

The Elusive Betty Ong

[. . .]

Well, Betty’s life history is rather sparse. One thing that she is alleged to have done is to have graduated from George Washington High School in San Francisco in 1974. This datum occurs in various places.

I got in touch with the school’s alumni association, representing that I was an alumnus from that time period, and was very interested in getting my hands on some old yearbooks.

“Oh, the memories…”

My contact there told me that there was a long waiting list to get any original yearbooks. However, she did add that there was a project afoot to digitize them all and put them up on the Internet. So there was little more for me to do on the yearbook front.

I also scoured social media looking for anybody who both claimed to have known Betty and, in particular, described this person in a way that it seemed like they really knew her. I could not find anything. I also discovered that there were very few photos of Betty available and what few there were all seemed to have been photoshopped.

One thing that I did learn meanwhile (from a correspondent in Colorado who had also taken an interest in our gal Betty) is that a site called sfgenealogy.org had all the George Washington High graduating class lists online. In fact, at the time Betty would have attended this school, there were two graduating classes per year: Spring and Fall. For example, the Spring and Fall of 1974 are available here and here.

No sign of Betty Ong. My Colorado correspondent pointed this out to me but then a little while later wrote me a new message to tell me that Betty was indeed on the Spring 1973 Graduating class list. Yes, there she was all right! Right in between Vivian Olsen and Jacki Ono! I have to admit that I was excited by this since it was the first somewhat official corroboration of any of Betty’s meager life history. Of course, she allegedly graduated in 1974, but decades later, surely one could misremember 1973 as 1974. It’s an easy mistake.

[. . .]

Betty, Betty, where are you?

Nearly two years passed, but I guess I never completely got over Betty. Not very long ago, I was idly typing Betty Ong related search strings into Google, not expecting anything new, but then, much to my surprise, I saw that the relevant yearbooks were now online! On a site called classmates.com. The site required me to sign up for an account which I duly did and I located the 1973 yearbook and eagerly looked for the Spring 1973 graduating class photos.

I assume you are on the edge of your seat by now, dear reader, and I will not keep you in suspense any longer. Here is the relevant yearbook page:

George Washington High, Spring 1973 Graduating Class. No Betty Ong.
George Washington High, Spring 1973 Graduating Class. No Betty Ong.

As I pointed out above, Betty Ong should be right between Vivian Olsen and Jacki Ono, in the right hand page, on the second row. [. . .]

I was about ready to wrap up the Betty Ong high school yearbook investigation, when I did remember that there were two graduating classes in that year: Spring 1973 and Fall 1973. [. . .]

Consulting the Fall 1973 graduating class list, I saw that, if (contrary to fact) Betty Ong were there, she would have to be in between Wayne Ogawa and Betty Ow. So I located the appropriate page in the online yearbook and I discovered something absolutely extraordinary:

Yes, there was indeed an entry for Betty Ong in the appropriate page of the Fall 1973 graduating class! She’s right there on the right-hand page, second row in the center. However, I had been looking for the Chinese flight attendant Betty Ong, but now I had my first encounter with Black Betty! The Chinese Betty Ong was intriguing enough, but I daresay that Black Betty is even more fascinating!

Here is a close-up:

No Shit, Sherlock

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
Sherlock Holmes, famous (fictional) English detective

[ . . .]

Black Betty Found at Last?

Now, dear reader, I went the whole 9 yards on this investigation. I looked hard for Betty. Well, now, for either Betty, the Chinese one or the Black one. Aside from the page with Black Betty, there is no other Betty Ong — black, yellow or white — in the 1973 yearbook.

If our Betty Ong was there, she certainly kept a low profile. She did not play any varsity sports, no musical instrument. She did not sing in a choir. She was not in the Spanish club or the debate club… Well, there are a lot of people like that, who just do their course work and do not participate in any extra-curricular activities, but I felt it was still worth looking.

Betty, oh, Betty… where are you?

Finally, it occurred to me that if somebody was a senior in 1973, that person would be in their junior year in 1972 and would usually appear in the 1972 yearbook as a junior.

So I scanned the 1972 yearbook. It turns out that there is no Betty Ong at all there of any color of the rainbow. However, the two people who flank Black Betty in the 1973 yearbook photo, Wayne Ogawa and Betty Ow, both appear in the 1972 yearbook. Here is the relevant page:

Here is a close-up of the relevant part of the page.

Note that there is an extra unaccounted for person, one “Oka, L.”, in between Wayne Ogawa (whose name contains a typo here) and Betty Ow. However, I finally did account for him. That is clearly Lawrence Oka, who, it turns out, graduated in Springof 1973. He is both on the sfgenealogy.org list and in the 1973 yearbook as being part of the Spring 1973 class. I infer that, at this point, he was slated to graduate in Fall of 1973 but must have then assumed an extra heavy course load in order to graduate finally on time with the Spring 1973 class.

That is a little wrinkle, but Ogawa and Ow are exactly where one one would expect, listed as being in the class of Fall 1973 in both the 1972 and 1973 yearbooks. But what about Black Betty?

Well, on the list of the Spring 1973 graduating class in the 1972 yearbook, there is a black girl listed as “Ole, V.”. Now, I would be the first to admit that these digitized photos are pretty grainy and it is certainly hard to swear that “Ole, V.” from the 1972 yearbook is the same person as the Black Betty Ong in the 1973 yearbook. However, I think finally it must be the same person. In the intervening year, she would have changed her hair and lost some baby fat in the face.

Though I am not 100.0% certain, and it is not a sine qua non either, there are some strong indications. For one thing, “Ole, V.”, unlike the previous people, Ogawa, Oka and Ow, does not appear in the 1973 yearbook. Granted, she could have transferred to another school or dropped out entirely. Everything is possible. However, the simplest explanation is that she is in fact the black girl who is labeled as “Betty Ong” in the 1973 yearbook. Note that the surname “Ole” fits right between Ogawa and Ow and this seems like too neat to just be a coincidence.

By the way, I had never heard of the surname “Ole” before. It sounds vaguely Hispanic, but, in fact, it is a moderately common surname in Kenya.

So, this concludes the investigation of Betty Ong’s high school career. In fact, it looks quite unlikely that there was any Chinese ethnic student by the name of Betty Ong at George Washington High School in the early seventies. The one mention of a Betty Ong corresponds to the photo of a black girl, who is probably “Ole, V.” from the 1972 yearbook. Betty Ong’s name does appear on this Spring 1973 graduating list but, as I point out above, the name is pretty clearly inserted.

[. . .]

Russia Exposes British Lies On Skripal, But Trail Leads To US

Authored by M.K. Bhadrakumar via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Moscow says it has proof that the agent used in the UK attack is a chemical weapon patented in the US. So was this a covert operation aimed at ratcheting up tensions between the West and Russia?

The sensational case of the poisoning of the ex-MI6 agent and former Russian military intelligence colonel Sergei Skripal on March 4 in Salisbury, in the UK, is becoming more and more curious. Under a blinding spotlight from Moscow, the British allegation regarding a Russian hand in the poisoning of Skripal is getting exposed. An engrossing plot in big-power politics is also unfolding. There is stuff here for a Le Carre novel.

[. . .]

Egg on May’s face

Britain is studiously ignoring the Russian requests for samples of the chemical agent used in the Salisbury attack and for consular access to be granted to the former spy’s daughter Yulia. Meanwhile, Britain instead approached the OPCW to investigate.

The OPCW has now responded that it cannot identify the country of origin of the chemical agent used in the Salisbury attack.

There is egg on PM Theresa May’s face.

However, Russians managed to get their hands on the report prepared for the OPCW by its reputed laboratory in Spiez, the Swiss Center for Radiology and Bacteriological Analysis. According to the Swiss lab’s report, the chemical formula used in the Salisbury attack has been in service in the US, the UK and other NATO countries. Furthermore, neither the Soviet Union nor Russia “ever developed or stockpiled similar chemical weapons.”

That’s more egg on May’s face.

Now comes the bombshell. On April 18, Moscow disclosed that it has formally handed over to the OPCW proof to the effect that the Novichok agent purportedly used in the Salisbury attack actually happens to be patented as a chemical weapon in 2015 in the US and produced in that country. (By the way, unlike Russia, the US is yet to destroy its chemical weapon stockpiles, as required under the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997.)

Now, not only the British government but Washington too has some explaining to do.

Was Skripal attack a covert op by the West?

Simply put, the Salisbury attack might even have been an Anglo-American joint covert operation undertaken with the ulterior motive to ratchet up tensions between the West and Russia. (The Washington Post reported on Monday that the former National Security Advisor HR McMaster might have hoodwinked President Donald Trump into approving the expulsion under the wrong notion that similar numbers of expulsions by European allies was in the pipeline. In the event though, the Europeans made only token expulsions.)

Britain is steadily edging away from the Skripal case, hoping, perhaps, that the matter will die down. But will Moscow let Britain off the hook?

On their part, the Russians seem to be holding back on some explosive information pointing toward the US’s direct complicity in this affair.

Indeed, if this was McMaster’s swan song, the indefatigable Russophobe probably hoped to kill two birds with one shot – push Russia’s relations with the West to a crisis point and second, scotch the prospects of an early US-Russia presidential summit (which Trump wanted.)

McMaster reportedly tried to stop Trump from congratulating Putin on his big victory in the Russian election on March 18 in a phone conversation where they discussed a possible summit meeting in a near future.

How far all this is linked to Trump’s decision on March 22, finally, to sack McMaster as his National Security Advisor is yet another template. By the standards of military people, McMaster probably has the reputation of being an “intellectual” but the man proved to be an unvarnished Cold Warrior fit for a museum.

From all accounts, Trump never trusted McMaster and the two had an acrimonious relationship. The one-star general who was overlooked for promotion by the Pentagon was Trump’s default choice following the abrupt departure of Michael Flynn.

Michael Wolff narrates a hilarious episode in his book ‘Fire and Fury’ that during the job interview for the NSA post, McMaster tried to impress Trump when he showed up in military uniform with his silver star and launched into a wide-ranging lecture on global strategy. After, Trump reportedly remarked, “That guy bores the shit out of me.”

USS Harry S. Truman CV-75 on its way to the Mediterranean

But carriers are obsolete, some carrier fans think that a carrier in the neighborhood is a big deal. We’ve long been told that, so it must be true, right? And worth the investment of circa twenty billion for each carrier group, total eleven? Wrong.

Look at it this way. The US has had a carrier parked in the Persian Gulf most of the time, sometimes two (none right now). They were mainly used to fly sorties of destruction over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. But they were also a part of the stupid US foreign policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was frequently summed up as “all options on the table.” Did Iran quake at the sight of a carrier continuously off its shore? No, because Tehran knew and Washington knew too that the carrier was a sitting duck if the balloon went up. It was a potential easy target for missiles, torpedoes and mines. Actually the carrier presence was an insurance policy AGAINST a US attack on Iran. Sending five thousand swabbies to Davy Jones’s locker is not an option for the Pentagon, no matter what some smart-ass politicians think.

By the way expensive obsolete carriers are high-maintenance way beyond Stormy Daniels territory. Of the eleven US carriers only two are currently deployed, which is about average.

There’s a bigger point here, and that is that the US military is pretty much useless for anything important, which it has fully demonstrated, and one reason is that corruption in military acquisition has only provided the troops with a bunch of expensive complex useless crap. So you can bet your booties that the arrival of the Truman probably portends some agreement between Russia and the US, in Russia’s favor. The US can claim that it was the carrier’s presence that ensured this or that and the carrier won’t have to do a damned thing, which is in its favor.

The End of Western’s Unilateral Domination of the World

By firing missiles on Syria with its French and British allies, the strange President Donald Trump has managed to force the Western powers to accept the end of their unilateral domination of the world. The insignificant result of this demonstration of force drags NATO back to reality. Without having made use of its weapons, Russia now succeeds the Soviet Union in the balance of world power.

Over the last few weeks, and for the first time in their history, the United States and Russia have mutually threatened one another with a World War. The totally disproportionate character of the crisis in terms of the subject of the dispute demonstrates that what is at stake here today no longer has any connection with what has been happening in the Greater Middle East since 2001, but exclusively with an attempt to maintain the current World Order.

After the gigantic massacre of millions of people over seventeen years, from Afghanistan to Libya, the manner in which about fifty people in East Ghouta (Syria) are said to have died seems almost ridiculous. And yet on 14 April, this was the pretext chosen by Washington, Paris and London to launch a three-party aerial attack.

Let’s avoid getting distracted by the circumstances, and get straight to the heart of the matter – the Western powers are attempting to maintain their domination over the rest of the world, while Russia and China are breaking free of it.

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, did not hesitate to tweet to Russia that he was going to fire missiles of a new generation on its soldiers in Syria. The Russian ambassador, Alexander Zasypkine, immediately responded that these missiles would be intercepted and the planes and ships that fired them would be destroyed. The Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yıldırım, expressed his astonishment at this « street brawl » and called the participants to reason. All of the actors then began to back-pedal.

The naval group of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman left its base in Norfolk, apparently to take position facing Syria. It will take several weeks before it is operational. The question of the confrontation between the United States and Russia, in other words the Third World War, will then be raised again.

It goes without saying that the preparation of this naval unit and its 6,500 soldiers began well before the affair of the Ghouta which serves as a pretext for its deployment.

The question is therefore to understand whether, by firing a deluge of missiles on a few abandoned buildings, Washington and its allies have postponed the confrontation in order to occupy a more efficient position, or, on the contrary, have given up on direct warfare and are preparing for a new form of conflict.

The result of the bombing on 14 April is astonishing – 103 missiles are said to have been fired by the Allies. 71 of these are said to have been destroyed in flight by Syria. A decommissioned military laboratory was apparently destroyed, and the installations of two aerodromes were damaged. This deluge of fire allegedly wounded only three people and killed none. If Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May had intended to show their power, they in fact showed themselves to be powerless.

Seen from Damascus, the message was clear – Syria is in the process of freeing itself from the jihadists, but will not enjoy peace for all that, and will not be able to count on any help from the West for its reconstruction.

The Allies pretend that Syria kept stocks of chemical weapons, despite its membership of the Convention which prohibits them. They claim that they targeted only areas linked to these weapons. And yet, for example, they fired four missiles at the international commercial airport in Damascus, an exclusively civilian target. Happily, the Syrian Arab Army managed to intercept them all.

In total, the Syrian Arab Army, which was only in possession of S-125’s, S-200’s, Buk’s, Kvadrat’s and Osa’s, managed, single-handed, to shoot down two thirds of the Western projectiles. Finally, despite themselves, the Allies had just fought the first battle of their history in which they killed not one enemy. France, which tested its new naval Cruise missile for the first time in a combat situation, was unable to boast of a success to its potential clients.

Of course, the Allies limited themselves. They carefully avoided hitting Russian or Iranian targets, and these two states did not participate in the operation. Nonetheless, the Western armada no longer has the capacity to impose its will on middle powers as long as they are protected by Russia.

Everyone has understood that, as from now :
- the United States and Russia – just as in earlier times the USA and the USSR – will refrain from any direct confrontation in order to avoid nuclear war ;
- and that the middle powers allied with Russia will not be significantly damaged by the West.
- The only military superiority possessed by Washington, London and Paris resides in their capacity to manipulate armed groups and use them as proxies.

By bringing France and the United Kingdom into the fray, President Trump has forced them to accept the reality they were refusing to see.

This grand show, then, was no more than a futile gesture. After a quarter of a century of unilateral domination by the West, its three main military powers have just been down-graded. The world has returned to a bipolar situation like that of the Cold War, although the new rules still need to be defined. The Third World War will have to wait.

Thierry Meyssan

Translation Pete Kimberley

Source Al-Watan (Syria)

David Stockman On The Delusions Of MAGA

Authored by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog,

The Donald took to some bragging during yesterday’s annual tax filing moment – assuring America’s oppressed taxpayers that happier times beckon. In fact, he insinuated that MAGA is not just a slogan. By his lights, apparently, we are already living the dream. To wit:

On this Tax Day, America is strong and roaring back. Paychecks are climbing. Tax rates are going down. Businesses are investing in our great country. And most important, the American people are winning.

So our purpose in this multi-part series is to beg to differ. Profoundly.

The Donald is not leading America to the promised land.

Instead, he’s leading it to war abroad, fiscal and economic calamity at home and a crisis of governance that pales Watergate into insignificance.

To be sure, these baleful outcomes were baked into the cake when Trump took the oath 15 months ago, and there was never any rational reason to think he could reverse the tide.

As we have said from the beginning, the Donald’s historic role is to function as the Great Disrupter—tying the system in knots and causing the malefic Washington/Wall Street consensus to become irreparably fractured and thoroughly discredited.

But he can not possibly fix anything because he has no agenda, no mandate and no capacity whatsoever to lead.

His domestic program boils down to crude protectionism, nasty xenophobia and epic fiscal profligacy; his foreign policy is a function of who he talks to last among his worsening team of failed generals and bloody-minded neocons; and his notion of White House leadership consists, self-evidently, of early morning tweet-storms from the East Wing Residence.

The single thing that the mainstream media acknowledges as a “success” is the Christmas Eve tax cut, but that will soon prove to be the most counterproductive and irresponsible fiscal policy action in modern history–or even ever.

After all, the Donald inherited a real bad boy—a $700 billion deficit for the upcoming fiscal year (FY 2019). But the King of Debt was nonplussed, electing to pile on $300 billion of tax cuts ($285 billion revenue loss plus interest) for next year alone.

Shortly thereafter, of course, he kept the government lights on by signing the Horribus appropriations bill. So doing, he traded $63 billion of higher domestic spending and more than $100 billion of unfinanced disaster relief for $80 billion of added defense money.

In all, the Trumpite/GOP has pushed the coming year’s borrowing requirement toward $1.2 trillion.This means, in turn, that the bond pits will be flooded with $1.8 trillion of “homeless” treasury paper after accounting for $600 billion of the Fed’s QT bond-dumping program.

Here’s the thing. No one has ever tried—or even contemplated—financing $1.8 trillion or 8.8% of GDP at the tippy-top of a business cycle that will enter record territory (124 months) before FY 2019 is over.

Indeed, the very idea of it is pure madness and it will shatter the entire Bubble Finance order before it is done.

By way of historical comparison, the Federal deficit was $160 billion or 1.1% of GDP at the top of the last cycle (FY 2007) and the Fed was still buying the public debt, not dumping it.

In fact, it bought $15 billion of Treasury paper that year, meaning the net burden in the bond pits was $145 billion or 1.o% of GDP.

So what looms just ahead is a flood of government paper into the bond pits which will be 9X bigger(relative to GDP) than was the case at the last cycle peak on the eve of the financial crisis.

Besides, the Chinese were still buying Treasury paper hand-over-fist back then. By contrast, among the many wars the Donald has on his mind is the trade war with the Red Ponzi that has now gone into full tit-for-tat. This week has already generated a 179% Chinese levy on US sorghum and a pending US levy on steel automotive wheels, and apparently they are just getting warmed up.

On that score, we have no way of knowing whether the Donald’s dictator friend, Xi Jinping, will deliberately dump any of his $1.5 trillion hoard of US treasuries (when you count what is in nominee accounts in the Cayman Island, Belgium etc) as the next step of the trade war.

But it actually doesn’t matter what the motivation or trade war strategy is in Beijing: The overwhelming odds are that it will need to sell, not buy or hold, US treasuries in the years ahead in order to counteract capital flight.

Indeed, as Mr. Xi wrestles with his $40 trillion debt bomb and the towers of speculation that have built up inside the Red Ponzi, he may well move to aggressively plug the foreign exchange loopholes and fill the jails with “enemies of the people”.

But that will only further motivate the flight of capital to places where the Red Emperor cannot seize it.

The same is true of the eurozone. The ECB will be out of the QE business by the end of this year, and into a German-led sound money pivot to QT by the end of 2019. Since the global sovereign bond markets are fungible and arbitraged, that shift too will reduce the central bank uptake of government bonds.

Indeed, the contrast between the ECB’s balance sheet at the least peak in 2007 and the present is startling. Back then it was $1.5 trillion and had ample headroom above; today it has ballooned to $5.5 trillion and has nowhere to go except smaller.

In other words, the $1.8 trillion of homeless US treasury paper in the bond pits of Wall Street is not an aberration and it’s not isolated. After the worldwide central bank money printing binge of the last decade, which t0ok combined balance sheets from $5 trillion to $22 trillion, it’s a universal condition.

And that get’s us to the heart of the MAGA delusion. The Donald has been sold a bill of goods about the efficacy of tax cuts—and that’s the only real basis for his mistaken assumption that the US economy is fixing to boom—by a motley combination of supply-side ideologues, GOP politicians pandering to their donor base and the K-street business lobbies.

But tax cuts are not efficacious if they are deficit-financed late in the cycle and thereby cause an off-setting spike in bond yields. And they are also not efficacious if they fund corporate financial engineering rather than investment in productive assets, or if on the individual side they are temporary and are delivered primarily through credits rather than marginal rate cuts.

Needless to say, all of the above negatives apply to the GOP’s Christmas Eve tax cut bill in spades. And foremost among these is the “yield shock” that lies dead ahead.

As we see it, if the U.S. economy doesn’t buckle first (i.e. tumble into recession and then all bets are off anyway), the 10-year UST yield will break through 4.0% before the end of FY 2019. Indeed, it is hard to see any other outcome when the household savings rate in the US is still in the sub-basement of history.

Moreover, the distinguishing characteristic this time, as opposed to the plunge in 2005-2007 shown in the chart below, is that there is a 8.8% of GDP net treasury funding requirement today compared to just 1.0% back then.

Accordingly, even in the case of today’s flat yield curve, the incremental debt service cost to US borrowers (households, business, government and financial institutions which collectively owe $68 trillion) will total $900 billion at an annual rate or roughly 3X the impact of the tax cut.

Yes, interest payments are circular: Someone gets interest payments from those who owe.

But that accounting identify will be of no consolation to the bottom 80% of US households, which are already leveraged to the gills; or to most US business, which are already lugging $14.3 trillion of debt compared to just $6.2 trillion at the turn of the century;

And, most especially, it will mean a nasty surprise for Uncle Sam. Owing to the Fed’s financial repression and its phony $85 billion per year “profit remittance”, the US treasury only paid $300 billion of interest this year.

But as yields move sharply higher and the Fed is forced to book massive mark-to-market losses on its hoard of Treasury and GSE paper, the carry cost on the public debt will skyrocket and the Fed’s profit remittance to the Treasury will disappear. Accordingly, Uncle Sam will be facing a $1 trillion annual interest burden far sooner than even the CBO now projects.

In fact, the coming yield shock will generate a fiscal bloodbath that would make mincemeat of MAGA—-even if the Donald were still around to witness it.

But as we will show in Part 2, we think a different scenario is now brewing. Namely, a route in the bond pits which will bring the stock averages crashing down, and the Congressional GOP in hot pursuit of a scapegoat wearing a red MAGA cap.

Russian Countermeasures Killed Trump Syria Attack

Proof the US would come in “third” in nuke exchange with Russia:

By South Front

76 Missiles hit here, the Pentagon says, before and after (below)

The attack involved the following means and launchers:

  • The USS Monterey CG61 fired 30 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Red Sea.
  • The USS Laboon DDG58 fired 7 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Red Sea.
  • The USS Higgins DDG76 fired 23 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Persian Gulf.
  • The USS John Warner SSN785 fired 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean.
  • The French frigate LANGUEDOC fired 3 Storm Shadow/SCALP EG cruise missiles from the Mediterranean.
  • B-1B strategic bombers fired 19 AGM-158 JASSM air-launched cruise missiles.
  • British Typhoon and Tornado fighter jets fired 8 Storm Shadow/SCALP EG air-launched cruise missiles.
  • French Rafel and Mirage fired 9 Storm Shadow/SCALP EG air-launched cruise missiles.

According to the Pentagon 76 missiles hit “Barzah Research and Development Center”, 22 missiles hit “Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Site”, 7 missiles hit “Him Shinshar CW Bunker”.

However, during the official briefing the Pentagon declined to provide any evidence.

The Russian Defense Ministry provided more details how the SADF intercepted such a number of missiles simultaneously in one wave of strikes.

The experts suggested that the Russian military had possibly used its state-of-the-art electronic warfare systems to counter the launched missiles during the final phase of their flight path.

Another factor, which “highly likely” contributed to the effectiveness of the Syrian counter-measures, is that Russia had provided the Syrian military with operational data from its technical reconnaissance net, including satellites and other surveillance means. Likely, Iran had done a similar thing.

Using tracking data, Russian-made air defense systems like S-125, S-200, Buk and Kvadrat are capable of shooting down cruise missiles with a relatively high efficiency.

The 71 intercepted missiles of 103 launched are a decisive failure for the US and its allies. Some experts suggested that the 76 missiles strike on Barzeh announced by the Pentagon could be an attempt to explain where all the missiles had gone.

If the data provided by the Russian Defense Ministry is confirmed, this will be the first time in the history when a side was able to repel a massive strike of so-called modern high-precision weapons/missiles. If so, in the case of a nuclear exchange between the US and Russia, the Russians will be able to intercept most of the US means of attack while suffering only minor damage, whereas Russia’s nuclear strike would be a crushing blow.