US/Russian Military Interventions in Syria

JohnR

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News items covering the Russian bombing in Syria are stating that the bombing is indiscriminate and causing higher civilian casualties than the Western air campaign. I watched an article a few nights ago which showed what looked very much like "dumb" bombs being loaded into a Backfire bomber. It then showed the bombs being dropped in a manner that looked no different than footage of WWII bombing raids.

My question is how are the bombs targeted; I presume by some kind of radar, and how accurate is it?

Regards.
 

sferrin

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JohnR said:
News items covering the Russian bombing in Syria are stating that the bombing is indiscriminate and causing higher civilian casualties than the Western air campaign. I watched an article a few nights ago which showed what looked very much like "dumb" bombs being loaded into a Backfire bomber. It then showed the bombs being dropped in a manner that looked no different than footage of WWII bombing raids.

My question is how are the bombs targeted; I presume by some kind of radar, and how accurate is it?

Regards.

Most (not all) bombs dropped by the Russians have been dumb bombs.
 

Orionblamblam

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You have to wonder how much of this is simply disposal of old stock. Bombs can remain functional devices for *decades,* but if they are obsolete, disposal costs money. What better way to dispose of an old bomb than to set it off? And what better way to set off an old bomb than to drop it on territory you don't care about? If a bomb falls and *doesn't* promptly detonate, you don't need to send the UXB guys in to either disarm it or detonate it; you just forget about it. if it blows up a day or a year later... shrug. The US did the same in Nam with old WWI era dumb bombs. Of course, laser guided bombs were kinda new fangled at the time...

Plus... internal politics. Before this, someone from the Russian Air Force might've said "We need X Billion Rubles to buy Y number of brand-new precision guided bombs," and some beancounter would have replied with "Well, you have a bajillion of *these* bombs in stock, hardly seems like you need more." Now there are a whole lot less bombs in inventory; time to buy some replacements.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Tu-22M-3 radar (unless its been upgraded) is an rather old design ("Rubin", first used on Tu-16 in the 60s) but the Tu-22M-3 version (PNA-D) added doppler beam-sharpening mapping modes, which increases effective resolution, so its probably one of the better Soviet-era systems. Its certainly not precision bombing though.
 

Grey Havoc

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Via the Washington Times:

2_212016_russia8201_s878x488.jpg


ORIGINAL CAPTION: A Russian bomber drops bombs on a target in this image made from video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry. (Associated Press)
 

Avimimus

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It is worth noting that Russian videos have been known to splice in footage from multiple tapes (e.g. the 'foab' thermobaric). The article also doesn't state that the target is in Syria - so I wouldn't necessarily take that picture (bombing through cloud cover) as more than illustrative.

Anyway we've had this discussion about iron bombs - the Russians are using a similar mix of weapons to what the United States used in the first Gulf War... it wasn't until after the turn of the millennium that the shift to using smart weapons on a variety of targets (rather than just high priority bridged, bunkers, C4 etc.) took place.

I *would* be interested in seeing a discussion of the Amnesty report. IMHO, in these reports there is always a risk of looking only at the damages done by the bombing without understanding the difficulties for the aviator that influence where the bombs fall.
 

Rickshaw

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Orionblamblam said:
You have to wonder how much of this is simply disposal of old stock. Bombs can remain functional devices for *decades,* but if they are obsolete, disposal costs money. What better way to dispose of an old bomb than to set it off? And what better way to set off an old bomb than to drop it on territory you don't care about? If a bomb falls and *doesn't* promptly detonate, you don't need to send the UXB guys in to either disarm it or detonate it; you just forget about it. if it blows up a day or a year later... shrug. The US did the same in Nam with old WWI era dumb bombs. Of course, laser guided bombs were kinda new fangled at the time...

Plus... internal politics. Before this, someone from the Russian Air Force might've said "We need X Billion Rubles to buy Y number of brand-new precision guided bombs," and some beancounter would have replied with "Well, you have a bajillion of *these* bombs in stock, hardly seems like you need more." Now there are a whole lot less bombs in inventory; time to buy some replacements.

In Vietnam, if a bomb failed to detonate it was usually harvested for HE by the NLF and used in IEDs against US and Allied troops. The NLF was quite adept at removing HE and detonators from US bombs. I would not be surprised if the anti-Assad forces were becoming as good.
 

Archibald

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How surprising... this are the same russian forces that faced Chechen resistance in Grozny, and just razed the city from the face of Earth instead of fighting house-to-house. They don't care about precision strikes or "colateral damage" - they just bomb the shit out of their aircrafts.
 

Grey Havoc

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r

ORIGINAL CAPTION: Russian warplanes fly in the sky over the Mediterranean coastal city of Latakia, Syria, January 28, 2016.
REUTERS/OMAR SANADIKI


http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-nato-idUSKCN0W212Y​
 

bobbymike

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Iskanders in Syria?

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/israeli-satellite-imagary-shows-russian-nuclear-capable-missiles-in-syria?akds
 

Avimimus

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One thing I'd be interested in figuring out:

What percentage of the damage to eastern Aleppo's buildings is a result of aerial bombardment and what percentage is a result of short range artillery?
 

dan_inbox

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Archibald said:
this are the same russian forces that faced Chechen resistance in Grozny, and just razed the city from the face of Earth instead of fighting house-to-house. They don't care about precision strikes or "colateral damage"

Maybe they have kept the basic value that they care about the lives of their own soldiers more than about the lives of anyone else, especially the very terrorists they are fighting against and the populace that produces them.
Western political correctness looks fine and dandy when you are sitting in a Californian university office, but on the terrain it got long ago to the point where it is the single largest weakness and source of casualties in our own ranks. And therefore is leveraged systematically by the bad guys everywhere who do not give a damn about such political correctness.

Especially when faced with different cultures with different values, at some point the West will need to get its act together again. History doesn't teach that we defeated the Nazi & Japanese aggressors by being politically correct. At best it is wishful thinking to hope to preserve our virginity while defeating such vicious opponents as the worldwide radical Islamistic wave. At worst, it is wholesale jeopardizing of lives on our own side, civilian and military alike.

It feels like the Russians have simply kept much more practical.
And with huge success too: they just turned the tables in Syria, saved their pawn Assad, and made the involved western powers look even more weak and non-credible than before. Which will be noticed by all the local warlords looking for a credible protector ally.

Even for those who do not support Putin or his dictatorship regime, force is to observe that his practical conduct has just scored him huge successes, and given black eyes aplenty to US FR UK and all the other politikorrect westerners.
It should be a basic lesson that before going to war, a power should ask itself: Am I really ready to do what it takes to win? And if your blessed values can't handle the heat, then stay out of the kitchen. It will avoid more unnecessary defeats like Lebanon '82, Somallia '93, A-stan and Irak.

War is not clean. Especially so when between different civilizations. Defeating another civilization will not be achieved without massive amounts of deaths.
Theoretically we should avoid such wars, but if the other side starts it, too bad. Your only choice is to do what it takes and win, or to totter and get nowhere.
In Syria and the Middle East, so far Russia has chosen one path and the West the other.
 

bobbymike

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US Tomahawk Missiles Bombard Syrian Air Force Base

—Brian Everstine4/7/2017

US Navy ships at 8:40 p.m. EDT Thursday fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria, targeting the airfield that launched Tuesday’s gas attack. The missiles hit the Shayrat airbase in Homs province, targeting aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply, bunkers, air defense systems, and radars, in an attempt to damage Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s air force and his ability to target rebels following the gas attack. The strike originated from the USS P​orter and USS Ros​s off the coast of Syria in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. President Trump said late Thursday the strike is in response to the “horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. … Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children.” Trump said in brief remarks at Mar-a-Lago, Fla., late Thursday, “It is in this vital national security interest of the US to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.” Syrian state media in response to the attack called it an act of “aggression,” according to The Associated Press. Russian troops were reportedly stationed at the base before the strike. The US informed Russia about the strike beforehand to avoid Russian casualties. The Pentagon late Thursday was assessing the results of the strike. “The strike was a proportional response to Assad’s heinous act,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement. Shayrat Airfield was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian air forces. … The strike was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again.”

https://news.usni.org/2017/04/06/breaking-u-s-destroyers-fire-dozens-tomahawks-syrian-airfield-retaliation-strike-chemical-attack
 

Avimimus

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Further reports... there are claims that only 23 of the missiles hit their intended targets. The runway was being resurfaced and Russian helicopters have been stationed there. Uncertain about other Russian equipment or what equipment was stationed there at the time of the attack.
 

bobbymike

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Avimimus said:
Further reports... there are claims that only 23 of the missiles hit their intended targets. The runway was being resurfaced and Russian helicopters have been stationed there. Uncertain about other Russian equipment or what equipment was stationed there at the time of the attack.
Links would be nice. Tomahawks with only 39% accuracy find that hard to believe.
 

Triton

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bobbymike said:
Avimimus said:
Further reports... there are claims that only 23 of the missiles hit their intended targets. The runway was being resurfaced and Russian helicopters have been stationed there. Uncertain about other Russian equipment or what equipment was stationed there at the time of the attack.
Links would be nice. Tomahawks with only 39% accuracy find that hard to believe.

The claims are being made by the Russian Ministry of Defense and being reported by the usual suspects:

" ‘Low efficiency’: Only 23 Tomahawk missiles out of 59 reached Syrian airfield, Russian MoD says"
Published time: 7 Apr, 2017 09:41
Edited time: 7 Apr, 2017 16:46

Source:
https://www.rt.com/news/383858-syria-us-strike-inefficient/

The strike on the Shayrat airfield in Syria’s Homs Province destroyed a material storage depot, a training facility, a canteen, six MiG-23 aircraft in repair hangars and a radar station.

The runway, taxiways and the Syrian aircraft on the parking apron remained undamaged, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman said in a statement.

The ministry described the combat efficiency of the strike as “quite poor.”

“On April 7, 2017, between 3:42am and 3:56am Moscow time, two US Navy destroyers (USS Porter and USS Ross) fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat airfield in Homs Province, Syria, from an area near the Island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea.

“According to our sources, only 23 of them reached the Syrian airbase,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said, adding that the points of impact of the other 36 cruise missiles remain unknown.
 

bobbymike

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Triton said:
bobbymike said:
Avimimus said:
Further reports... there are claims that only 23 of the missiles hit their intended targets. The runway was being resurfaced and Russian helicopters have been stationed there. Uncertain about other Russian equipment or what equipment was stationed there at the time of the attack.
Links would be nice. Tomahawks with only 39% accuracy find that hard to believe.

The claims are being made by the Russian Ministry of Defense and being reported by the usual suspects:

" ‘Low efficiency’: Only 23 Tomahawk missiles out of 59 reached Syrian airfield, Russian MoD says"
Published time: 7 Apr, 2017 09:41
Edited time: 7 Apr, 2017 16:46

Source:
https://www.rt.com/news/383858-syria-us-strike-inefficient/
Thanks Triton it makes sense now because those same sources usually say Russian missile hits with 161% efficiency :D
 

Avimimus

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Given the performance of the Kh-101 in Syria they have plenty of reason to lie or distort Tomahawk performance. That said, they may have been in the tubes a bit long.

Does anyone have information on the airfield before and after the strikes?
 

TomS

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bobbymike said:
Avimimus said:
Further reports... there are claims that only 23 of the missiles hit their intended targets. The runway was being resurfaced and Russian helicopters have been stationed there. Uncertain about other Russian equipment or what equipment was stationed there at the time of the attack.
Links would be nice. Tomahawks with only 39% accuracy find that hard to believe.

I think this is coming from the Russians, so it should be taken with a fair grain of salt. It's just turnabout for the US claims that Russian cruise missiles fired at Syria crashed in Iran last year.
 

bring_it_on

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If that is the case it wouldn't be long before pictures of 3 dozen TLAM's that missed surface.
 

Triton

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bring_it_on said:
If that is the case it wouldn't be long before pictures of 3 dozen TLAM's that missed surface.

This is the latest I could find:

A US defense official told CNN Friday morning that an initial battle damage assessment from the strike was that 58 of the 59 missiles "severely degraded or destroyed" their intended target. The official cautioned that this is just the earliest assessment using radar and that more robust assessments using satellites and other surveillance is still pending.
Thirty-six of the Tomahawks were fired from the USS Ross and the other 23 were launched from the USS Porter, the official added.

Source:
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/06/politics/donald-trump-syria-military/

The Russian Ministry of Defense and the United States Department of Defense need to provide evidence to substantiate their claims.
 

Arian

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Triton said:
bobbymike said:
Avimimus said:
Further reports... there are claims that only 23 of the missiles hit their intended targets. The runway was being resurfaced and Russian helicopters have been stationed there. Uncertain about other Russian equipment or what equipment was stationed there at the time of the attack.
Links would be nice. Tomahawks with only 39% accuracy find that hard to believe.

The claims are being made by the Russian Ministry of Defense and being reported by the usual suspects:

" ‘Low efficiency’: Only 23 Tomahawk missiles out of 59 reached Syrian airfield, Russian MoD says"
Published time: 7 Apr, 2017 09:41
Edited time: 7 Apr, 2017 16:46

Source:
https://www.rt.com/news/383858-syria-us-strike-inefficient/

The strike on the Shayrat airfield in Syria’s Homs Province destroyed a material storage depot, a training facility, a canteen, six MiG-23 aircraft in repair hangars and a radar station.

The runway, taxiways and the Syrian aircraft on the parking apron remained undamaged, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman said in a statement.

The ministry described the combat efficiency of the strike as “quite poor.”

“On April 7, 2017, between 3:42am and 3:56am Moscow time, two US Navy destroyers (USS Porter and USS Ross) fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat airfield in Homs Province, Syria, from an area near the Island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea.

“According to our sources, only 23 of them reached the Syrian airbase,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said, adding that the points of impact of the other 36 cruise missiles remain unknown.

RT is a bit jumpy in making up stuff, but given that the audience which reads such stories will believe anything, its no surprise.

Satellite imagery shows 44 targets were hit in the airbase. This does not include missiles which struck the runways (there were several of those apparently), or targets struck by multiple missiles (one image shows at least 3 missiles having hit a single HAS).

So certainly 23 missiles wasn't all that reached the target. RT is just BS-ing, as usual.

Additionally, we haven't yet seen satellite images of the AD site that is about 1km north of the base. According to Bing Maps images of that site (which are better than Google maps images of the site), there appears to be at least 2 SAM sites in that base 1km north of the runway: 1 Sa-6 and what...appears...to be 1 Sa-11 Buk site.

Untitled.jpg
 

SOC

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The site north of Shayrat is an SA-6 garrison and deployment site, those are all SA-6 TELs.

Syria got the SA-17, not the SA-11.

The runway was resurfaced at least a year ago.

Russian helos were operating there as recently as February.
 

Arian

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SOC said:
The site north of Shayrat is an SA-6 garrison and deployment site, those are all SA-6 TELs.

Syria got the SA-17, not the SA-11.

The runway was resurfaced at least a year ago.

Russian helos were operating there as recently as February.

Those launchers look different, however. Sa-6 appears longer and more narrow, those (4 in total) appear shorter and wider. It's hard to make out how many missiles are on those, while the other ones can be clearly identified as Sa-6 with 3 missiles each.

I could be wrong, but they look different.
 

SOC

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It's poorly processed imagery, Bing and Google have this problem in a lot of places. Properly corrected imagery will show these as SA-6 TELs with consistent dimensions.
 

bring_it_on

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Pentagon Says All 59 Tomahawks Hit Syrian Targets


Pentagon officials say all 59 Raytheon-built Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles fired against a Syria’s Shayrat airfield on April 7 reached their intended targets and the 60th was waved off. One missile failed, but another was launched in its place.
A surface-to-air missile site, radar and about 20 aircraft plus various ammunition bunkers and suspected chemical weapon storage facilities were damaged or destroyed in the attack.

That is the assessment of the U.S. Defense Department. Speaking to the media at the Pentagon, two officials involved in the mission who declined to be named said the late-night naval strike was executed with 100% accuracy. “We’re very positive that 59 missiles hit,” they said.
 

bring_it_on

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Could someone ID these...
 

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Arian

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SOC said:
It's poorly processed imagery, Bing and Google have this problem in a lot of places. Properly corrected imagery will show these as SA-6 TELs with consistent dimensions.

Could be. I find it strange that 4 launchers look different than the other 4 clearly identifiable Sa-6 launchers there, even though they are only a few meters away from each other. One looking different due to angle or image processing, but 4?

bring_it_on said:
Pentagon Says All 59 Tomahawks Hit Syrian Targets


Pentagon officials say all 59 Raytheon-built Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles fired against a Syria’s Shayrat airfield on April 7 reached their intended targets and the 60th was waved off. One missile failed, but another was launched in its place.
A surface-to-air missile site, radar and about 20 aircraft plus various ammunition bunkers and suspected chemical weapon storage facilities were damaged or destroyed in the attack.

That is the assessment of the U.S. Defense Department. Speaking to the media at the Pentagon, two officials involved in the mission who declined to be named said the late-night naval strike was executed with 100% accuracy. “We’re very positive that 59 missiles hit,” they said.


There are some contradictory reports on this, some saying 58 of 59 hit the targets, others as the source you give saying 59 of 59 but 1 missile failed somewhere, another launched in its place, and a 60th was "waved off". So between 60 and 61 may have been launched in total.

Although apparently 1 unexploded BGM-109 warhead was found in Syria. This could have been the one that was "waved off" or "failed".

USN_BGM-109_warhead_Karto_Tartous_7_Apr17.jpg


Either way, Russian media is in full swing with ridiculous propaganda, and as usual its working very well on the internet.
 

bring_it_on

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Arian said:
Either way, Russian media is in full swing with ridiculous propaganda, and as usual its working very well on the internet.

Russia made a tall claim of 23 missiles that struck targets with dozens that did not. It wouldn't be long before social media is flooded with TLAM missile parts videos and photographs in the Syrian countryside if indeed their claim is true. Unless the new narrative is that all of them were shot down or took a dip in the ocean.
 

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bring_it_on said:
Arian said:
Either way, Russian media is in full swing with ridiculous propaganda, and as usual its working very well on the internet.

Russia made a tall claim of 23 missiles that struck targets with dozens that did not. It wouldn't be long before social media is flooded with TLAM missile parts videos and photographs in the Syrian countryside if indeed their claim is true. Unless the new narrative is that all of them were shot down or took a dip in the ocean.

It's working very well for their target audiance
 

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Arian said:
bring_it_on said:
Arian said:
Either way, Russian media is in full swing with ridiculous propaganda, and as usual its working very well on the internet.

Russia made a tall claim of 23 missiles that struck targets with dozens that did not. It wouldn't be long before social media is flooded with TLAM missile parts videos and photographs in the Syrian countryside if indeed their claim is true. Unless the new narrative is that all of them were shot down or took a dip in the ocean.

It's working very well for their target audiance

It's actually pretty scary how deeply members of the far ends of the political spectrum are buying into Russian Propaganda sources. Especially the faithful of Alex Jones. They've been regurgitating RT news stories like no tomorrow, and have been for awhile. I know Western Media is a joke more times then not, but sheesh! The crap being pumped out by Russian sources is downright hilarious, if not insulting.
 

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As Oscar Wilde said: 'The truth is rarely pure, and never simple'.
 

bring_it_on

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RobertWL said:
Especially the faithful of Alex Jones.

This Guy?

https://media.giphy.com/media/11TDeGPwWTuBb2/giphy.gif
 

bring_it_on

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NYT is reporting that F-22's are back in the region

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/08/us/politics/us-islamic-state-syria.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share
 

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https://www.csis.org/analysis/recalibrating-us-strategy-toward-russia
 

kaiserd

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RobertWL said:
Arian said:
bring_it_on said:
Arian said:
Either way, Russian media is in full swing with ridiculous propaganda, and as usual its working very well on the internet.

Russia made a tall claim of 23 missiles that struck targets with dozens that did not. It wouldn't be long before social media is flooded with TLAM missile parts videos and photographs in the Syrian countryside if indeed their claim is true. Unless the new narrative is that all of them were shot down or took a dip in the ocean.

It's working very well for their target audiance

It's actually pretty scary how deeply members of the far ends of the political spectrum are buying into Russian Propaganda sources. Especially the faithful of Alex Jones. They've been regurgitating RT news stories like no tomorrow, and have been for awhile. I know Western Media is a joke more times then not, but sheesh! The crap being pumped out by Russian sources is downright hilarious, if not insulting.

Unfortunately there are a number of that type of faithful on this site.
While it's human nature (confirmation bias) to prefer sources of information that corresponds to your pre-existing opninions and prejudices the more extreme these are the more you have to retreat into your chosen conspiracy-theory hinterland and attack the "crooked mainstream media".
The likes of Alex Jones are in some worse than RT; the later are essentially a propagandist tool of the Russian state (a modern Pravda with higher production values), the former is doing similar harm out of pure malignant greed and ego.
 

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Clearly most journalists (mainstream or fringe) lack the expertise to do more than repeat the talking-points they are fed. This is why it is important to pool information from direct analyses in places like this.

This is also why it is good to keep threads like this apolitical and not locked! ;)
 

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Arian said:
Could be. I find it strange that 4 launchers look different than the other 4 clearly identifiable Sa-6 launchers there, even though they are only a few meters away from each other. One looking different due to angle or image processing, but 4?

It's likely due to overcompensating for terrain. Bad processing can cause funny things to show up, like wavy runways and the like.

At any rate, the Russian video released from the UAV disproves the whole "23 missiles hit Shayrat" nonsense. I first looked at post-strike imagery, calculated the number of impact points, and then used the UAV footage to find others that weren't as obvious. Yeah, way more than 23 hits. Russian propaganda might not be as completely hilarious as, say, Iranian propaganda, but it's equally useless. Remember when they tried to pass off a faked satellite image as evidence showing a Ukrainian FLANKER shot down the Malaysian airliner?
 

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At this point and time why would Assad decide to use chemical weapons, and how would that be a strategic benefit? Wouldn't someone have figured out the pissed world community and/or USA would do something like fire 50 Tomahawks in response? Is this what really happened or are the Russians (back channel) finally had enough of Assad and are looking to a future without Assad while giving the US some role in the war to look good?

And when I mean Russia might see a future without Assad, even if Assad "wins" he still loses and someone will have to replace him for a fresh start.
 

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