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Sunday, April 15

RU military seems to have no record of French activity during coalition attack on Syria

Huh. Doesn't mean there weren't any French bombers participating in the attack but here is the quote from the Russian Operational Directorate briefing on the bombs/missiles launched by the coalition.
Announced French aircraft have not been registered by the Russian air defence systems.
Maybe I misunderstand but the briefing describes other aircraft/platforms that were in use, including British ones. From The Saker's English transcript of the videotaped briefing, which is also available with simultaneous English text translation on the screen (YouTube as well as The Saker site) 
[...]

It is reported that the B-1B, F-15 and F-16 aircraft of the USAF as well as the Tornado airplanes of the UK RAF over the Mediterranean Sea, and the USS Laboon and USS Monterey located in the Red Sea were used during the operation.
The B-1B strategic bombers approached the facilities over the Syrian territory near al-Tanf illegally seized by the USA.
A number [of] Syrian military airfields, industrial and research facilities suffered the missile-bomb strike.
As [preliminarily] reported, there are no civilian casualties and losses among the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). Information will be further specified and made public.
As evident by the available data, 103 cruise missiles have been launched, including Tomahawk naval-based missiles as well as GBU-38 guided air bombs fired from the B-1B; the F-15 and F-16 aircraft launched air-to-surface missiles.
The Tornado airplanes of the UK RAF launched eight Scalp EG missiles.
[...]
The briefing, which also includes a description of every Syrian target, goes on in that vein, but no mention of French bomber/cruise missile activity.  

A couple points from the briefing I want to flag:
  • 71 out of the 103 missiles/bombs were intercepted by Syrian air defenses.
  • Four missiles targeted the Damascus International Airport. All were shot down. 
Cripes, the Syrian military had just finished completely securing the airport, which is vital to the economic recovery of Syria. I'll bet that airport wasn't on the list of targets the U.S. military reportedly gave the Russians before the attack. But why did the coalition choose the commercial international airport to target? Maybe the best answer is that they thought they could get away with it.

Anyhow, was Macron having his cake and eating it too? Telling Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman that the French would join in the bombing, then not actually ordering bombers to fly into Syrian airspace? Perhaps we'll find out for certain someday.


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