Syria fired 40 missiles ‘at nothing’ after allied air strikes destroyed three Assad chemical sites


he Assad Regime fired 40 defensive missiles at thin air in a failed attempt to save the three Syrian chemical weapons sites destroyed by allied air strikes, the Pentagon said.

A total of 105 missiles rained down on a research centre in Damascus as well as a storage site and a bunker 15 miles west of Homs at 4am Syrian time.

Britain launched eight Storm Shadow cruise missiles from the sky as the US and France provided support from the sea and jets.

France fired 12 cruise missiles, three from a frigate and nine from aircraft, while the US provided the bulk of the firepower with 85 missiles in total.

The attack targeted Syria from all angles, with ships and submarines firing from the Red Sea, North Arabian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean and jets which took off from Cyprus, France and, reportedly, Qatar.

Addressing the media in Virginia, Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr, the director of joint staff, said he would pick three words to describe the attack: “Precise, overwhelming and effective”.

He said Syria had launched 40 surface-to-air missiles in an attempt to shoot the allied weapons down, but that most of them had been fired after the last Syrian target had already been destroyed.

The three bases targeted were the Barzah Research and Development Centre in greater Damascus, the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Facility, west of Homs, and the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Bunker Facility, just more than four miles from the storage facility.

Britain’s involvement comprised of the Royal Air Force sending four Tornado GR4s to attack the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Facility.

With a maximum speed of Mach 1.3 and capable of carrying more than eight tonnes of weapons, the GR4 is the latest phase in the evolution of the Tornado – the RAF’s strike aircraft of choice for the last three decades.

The GR4s involved in the overnight attack deployed eight “bunker busting” Storm Shadow cruise missiles.

Weighing in at 2,866lb (1,300kg), measuring 16.7ft (5.1m) in length and with a range in excess of 150 miles (240km), it has been described by the air force as “arguably the most advanced weapon of its kind in the world”.

The range means that none of the GR4s would have been required to cross into Syrian airspace to launch the assault and they were provided with air support by four Typhoons.

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