The offensive against Syria on dawn on Saturday by the trio of the Western alliance barely lasted an hour, 50 minutes, according to some observers.
Taking as its pretext the chemical staging based on images posted on the Web, the western attack was launched around 4 am and ended around 5 am local time. It was conducted jointly by the USA, Great Britain, and France.
Anti-aircraft and anti-Syrian missile systems were also there to fight back. Neither Russia nor Iran participated in the Syrian response.
More than 100 missiles were fired at Syria, of which “a significant number” of them were intercepted, said Moscow.
Trump will decide
“The operation is over,” said US Secretary of State Jim Mattis at the press conference at the end of the offensive, along with Chief of Staff Joe Dunford. “The United States does not have a plan for new raids and the decision is up to Trump in the future,” he added.
In these two hours, among other things, the Syrian scientific research center located in Barzé district, south of Damascus was bombarded.
Syrian army depots in the province of Homs were also targeted in the bombings said the Sana Syrian news agency.
“The missiles that targeted Homs’ military position was intercepted and diverted from their course. There were three wounded, “the agency continues.
According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (OSDH), scientific research centers, “several military bases” and premises of the Republican Guard in Damascus and its surroundings have been targeted.
The information of this media body of the West pro-Syrian opposition sitting in London lacks rigor, especially since it is not an officially recognized part of the media, although it is relayed by Western agencies.
According to Sputnik, the military sites targeted by the strikes had been evacuated several days ago following reports from Russia, a senior Syrian official said Saturday.
Planes and missiles
Syrian television denied that the Masiaf area southwest of Hama was targeted.
Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV said that the planes that took part in the offensive took off from the al-Adid US military base located in Qatar.
Initially, about thirty Tomahawk and Cruise sea-ground missiles were fired from warships off the Mediterranean. Sputnik, the Russian news agency, spoke about 46 Tomahawk missiles which were allegedly fired, 12 of which were intercepted.
Later Saturday morning, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that 100 winged and air-to-ground missiles had been fired from US aircraft carriers in the Red Sea and from a tactical aircraft over the Mediterranean and B1B bombers from the al-Tanaf base, straddling Syria, Jordan and Iraq.
“A significant number of them have been intercepted before they reach their target,” he said, indicating that the Syrian army’s systems used in intercepting these missiles are the S-125 and S-200.
Syrian television reported that the Syrian DCA shot down 13 missiles in the al-Kaswat area of Damascus province.
“Syrian anti-aircraft defense” has come into action against “American, British and French aggression,” it said.
According to AFP, witnesses reported that smoke columns had risen from northeastern Damascus.
Attack without evidence
The bombing came hours after the US State Department claimed to have “evidence” of the use of chemical weapons by Syrian forces in Duma, eastern Ghouta without showing anything in support.
At the press conference held by Secretary of State for Defense Jim Mattis and Chief of Staff John Dunford, while the attack was still underway, the former did not show evidence of the alleged chemical attack. The second claimed that it is difficult to get the evidence out of Syria.
It is clear that the two US officers avoided specifying the nature of the chemical agent that was supposedly used. The team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is already in the Syrian capital and should begin its investigation this Saturday.
This gap did not prevent Western leaders from continuing to believe that the chemical attack took place.
“We cannot tolerate the trivialization of the use of chemical weapons,” said French President Emmanuel Macron.
“There is no alternative to the use of force to degrade and prevent the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement.
She had also launched into her country a campaign of accusations that proved unfounded against Russia accusing it of poisoning an ex-double Russian agent and his daughter.
On Friday, Russia accused Britain of being involved in the chemical staging of Duma in eastern Ghouta.
In their post-attack statements, Western, political and military officials continued to focus their rhetoric on chemical staging, arguing that bombed sites are chemical.
The chief of staff, General Joe Dunford, said that Western forces struck three targets related to Syrian chemical weapons program, one near Damascus and the other two in the Homs region, in central Syria on Friday at 9:00 pm (0100 GMT Saturday).
The same is true of the British Ministry of Defense, in which the four Tornado GR4 fighter jets that contributed to the strike “launched Storm Shadow missiles at a military complex – a former missile base – 24 kilometers west of Homs, ” where the regime is supposed to conserve chemical weapons,” according to its statement.
The Russian Ministry of Defense for its part announced Saturday that none of the Western strikes in Syria had reached the borders of Russian air and naval bases in Syrian territory.
“None of the cruise missiles fired by the United States and their allies has entered the area of responsibility of the Russian air defenses that protect the facilities in Tartous and Hmeimim,” said the ministry in a statement quoted by the state news agency RIA Novosti.
Russian forces have a naval base in Tartus and an airbase in Hmeimim.
The US does not have the right
“The American-French-British offensive will not be without consequences,” said the Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov.
“The United States with the largest chemical arsenal does not have the moral right to reprimand other countries,” he also said.
On her Facebook page, the spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova for her part condemned the strike, deploring “that it aims at the capital of a sovereign country that has been fighting terrorism for several years”.
Ms. Zakharova recalled that the White House’s information on the use of chemical weapons is based on non-credible media and video recordings.
“The American and Western media should remember that 15 years ago, the White House had used the vial of experience of its Minister of the AE, and today, it uses the media to execute its strikes”, she pointed out.
Clearly wronged by the advances of the Syrian army and more specifically in Eastern Ghouta, where the terrorist groups they supported and the Arab monarchies raged, the Western powers are accused of orchestrating the chemical staging in Douma, to have a pretext and to intervene in this country.