THE US “SOFT WAR” ON IRAN AND ITS ALLIES TURNS AGAINST WASHINGTON

Source

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

The US administration under Barack Obama drafted “Caesar’s Law” in 2016 to subdue Syria but kept it in the drawer. President Donald Trump and his administration dusted it off and are now implementing “Caesar’s Law”. In fact, Trump’s policy is manna to Iran: the US administration is playing straight into the hands of Tehran. Iran is reaping huge benefits, including more robust allies and resistant strongholds as a result of the US’s flawed Middle Eastern policies. Motivated by the threat of the implementation of “Caesar’ Law”, Iran has prepared a series of steps to sell its oil and finance its allies, bypassing depletion of its foreign currency reserves.

Iranian companies found in Syria a paradise for strategic investment and offered the needed alternative to a Syrian economy crippled by sanctions and nine years of war. Iran considers Syria a fertile ground to expand its commerce and business like never before. It has also found a way to support the Syrian currency and to avoid digging into its reserves of foreign currencies, skirting US sanctions in both Syria and Iran, while aiding the rest of its allies.

Iran supplied Syria with precision missiles and other anti-air missiles notwithstanding the hundreds of Israeli air attacks which managed to destroy large quantities of these Iranian advanced missiles but without removing the threat to Israel.

Moreover, following the announcement of the implementation of “Caesar’s Law”, Iran sent a large business delegation to Syria to schedule the supply of first necessities and goods in a time of sanctions. Iran has great expertise in this business and, after living for 40 years under sanctions, is in an excellent position to advise President Assad.

Russia also announced – via its vice Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov – that his country rejects the illegal sanctions on Syria, and that Russia will provide President Assad with whatever his country needs.

Idem in Syria: Iran proved its capability to break the fuel siege on Syria by sending several oil tankers to its ally in the Levant. Iran is ready to be paid in Syrian Lira rather than US currency for its oil. By doing this, Iran can pay its tens of thousands of allied persons spread across Syria with local currency, marginalising the US dollar.

In Iraq,

The US and Israel, who worked throughout the years of war in Syria to remove Iran, were in fact the impetus for Iran’s presence (and that of Russia) in the Levant in the first place. The US is now imposing “Caesar’s Law”, which will help Iran cement its presence in the Levant and Mesopotamia. It is planning to build a railway between Tehran and Damascus (and possibly Beirut): this axis will be able to transport hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil and tons of merchandise. The only way for the US to reduce the collateral damage is to finally accept that all of its “maximum pressure” and harshest sanctions on Iran and its allies have little chance of working. In the meantime, it is Iran that is moving ahead with a robust ring of allies, and the US and Israel which are left with Middle Eastern allies who are both inefficient and insignificant.

To my readers: I can no longer provide open access to my articles. When you subscribe, you are supporting the investigative journalism necessary for a robust understanding of what is happening in the Middle East. Thanks to those who can contribute.

Proofread by:  Maurice Brasher and C.G.B.

Copyright © https://ejmagnier.com   2020 

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“Mission Accomplished”… How Did Hezbollah Build Its New Equation?

By Charles Abi Nader

“Mission Accomplished”...   How Did Hezbollah Build Its New Equation?
The mission is accomplished (CLICK FOR VIDEO)

It is true that the media of the ‘Israeli’ Enemy and their analysts have expressed astonishment on the film that the Hezbollah media have published recently. The film featured specific goals inside the ‘Israeli’ entity along with a voice commentary belonging to the Hezbollah’s secretary general.  The commentary carried clear messages to the enemy which said that “the mission is accomplished” and that Hezbollah now holds precise missiles that are capable of accurately targeting most of the enemy’s strategic, dangerous and sensitive locations. However, practically, the enemy wasn’t surprised by the message as it was in fact waiting and expecting it. Also, it has put the manner of dealing with Hezbollah as its first priority and within the goals of facing it.

Of course, the enemy’s leadership knew very well that all that Hezbollah has reached concerning its qualified missile capabilities was due to its hard work. Hezbollah has been working and planning hardly and effectively. ‘Israel’ has tried hard to prevent it whether be it in politics, sanctions, diplomacy, and air and missile strikes. However, it seems to have failed in all that. Saying that, how then did Hezbollah build its new equation and what is it based on?

What is the equation based upon?

In practice, Hezbollah’s new equation which goes under the title “mission accomplished” is based upon the possession of specific missiles that are capable of aiming at any target that Hezbollah chooses and at any time it wants. In other words, all of this is present despite the ‘Israeli’ defensive measures. It has become an inevitable destiny.

The enemy has expressed the sensitive and dangerous aspects of the topic from the technical and military points of view through a study conducted by the strategic Begin-Sadat Center. Many foreign and regional media outlets have pointed at this study which was done by “Uzi Rubin” who previously headed the HITZ anti-missile defense project in the Ministry of ‘Security’. Rubin pointed out that “Israel” has put remarkable efforts to thwart the precision project Hezbollah is working on. If it masters it, Hezbollah will then own its special air force, along with an aerial offensive superiority excluding aircraft. This means that the precise missiles will be able to fully and successfully operate and target any location just like any developed bomber.

The credibility of the study that the aforementioned center has published is based on its comparison between Iran’s targeting of Ain al-Assad base in response to the martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and the dysfunctioning of American capabilities [both missile defense and electronic defense] against the missiles precision and the inevitability of reaching their targets.

The aforementioned center goes on to declare that in practice, the equation of the precise missiles will achieve its purpose in the future. This will be demonstrated in any future war when Hezbollah tries to carry out its own “Operation Focus”. This will be applied using precise missile salvos that will paralyze ‘Israeli’ air bases as soon as the battle begins.  It warned also that the active “Israeli” ‘defense’ comprising the “Iron Dome”, “David’s Sling”, or a very powerful Laser in the future does not guarantee an airtight aerial dam.

And according to the center, “Operation Focus” means  the pre-emptive air strike that ‘Israel’ used to start “the six day war” (1967) on the airports and the Arab air forces. The result was an outstanding air success launching absolute aerial superiority for the ‘Israeli’ air forces and a free support force for the ground forces during the war.

How did Hezbollah build this equation?

Hezbollah built the precise missile equation through a long path of training, planning, learning, and work that is secretive, dangerous and sensitive. This path has resulted in many martyrs and losses in equipment, vehicles and other logistic means and capabilities.  This construction process can be divided into two main phases which are: 

The first phase includes receiving or [manufacturing], transferring and hiding the missiles. This phase was among the most dangerous. It used to take place during the Syrian war which came in parallel with the defensive and offensive military operations that support and back the Arab Syrian army. The sensitive part of this stage was Hezbollah’s commitment not to respond to “Israel” that was trying to target the missiles transfer or the stored ones pending their transfer. This has always been the case as it was in constant search for a reaction to those targetings. Its manner wasn’t to find a pretext for starting a war because in fact it didn’t want one and kept far away from it. On the contrary, it sought and planned to use Hezbollah’s response as an excuse which it would take to the international forums. It also sought to rely on this response to extract decisions from the Security Council which permits the international community to carry out military action under chapter VII of disarming Hezbollah.

So, during the stage of possessing the missiles, Hezbollah was able to maintain its stubborn strategy in patience. Only by confronting this was it able to prove and impose a rule of engagement related to balanced and local responses to any targeting, martyrdom or injury of any of its members in Syria or Lebanon. Outside these areas, Hezbollah abided by the rule of not responding.

The last stage included the appliance of a program that concerns the arrival of a certain amount (its percentage is not clear) of missiles that it possessed to make it precise. This process relied on two directions. The first one has to do with confidentiality at work, in planning and during study and practice. The second one is more practical and is based on acquiring technical and scientific capabilities (acquired after an extended period of time) which it acquired through training, learning, or a number of engineers and technicians. Moreover, the rule of (making the missiles precise) is based on developing and modernizing the dual guidance system. The first one which is organically found on the missile and has to respond and deal with the second. This second one which is the external orientation system is found in the hands of the team which determines the targets and the orientation of the missiles and fixes it on the right path. It also bypasses the enemy’s defense means from counter missiles or from jamming and wasting devices.

After proving that Hezbollah has precise missiles and referring to the credibility of the words of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah “mission accomplished” what will “Israel’s” next strategy for confrontation be in the days to come?

Maybe the coming days will give us the sensitive answer we are pondering upon.

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3000 Rockets Would Be Fired at ‘Israel’ during Every War Day: Former IOF Ombudsman

Source

 June 22, 2020

manar-04902480015792739453

The former IOF ombudsman, Yitzhak Brick, reiterated that the Zionist infantry units are not ready for any war, especially in case of fighting on several fronts simultaneously, adding that this would endanger the security of the entity.

In a report, Brick pointed out that his estimations and conclusions are reached in the Zionist security and military comptroller.

The veteran officer added that more than 250 thousand missiles are besieging ‘Israel’, noting that around 3000 rockets would be fired at the entity per war day.

“The rockets are precision-guided and hold heavy heads and will claim thousands of Israelis and cause a massive destruction.”

Brick considered that the economic crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak would impede the home front’s preparations to face any upcoming war.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

What does the Empire’s agony mean for the “Jewish state of Israel”?

Source

THE SAKER • MAY 13, 2020 • 2,100 WORDS

Former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the F-35I

First, let’s begin with a few (apparently unrelated) recent news items:

These apparently unrelated news items all have one thing in common: the illustrate how weak and ineffective the US armed forces have become over the past couple of decades. And while, for the sake of brevity, I chose just three examples, the truth is that there are hundreds of similar stories all over the Internet, all pointing to the same reality: most of the US military is in a terminal state of disrepair.

Let’s look at the various services one by one:

  • The USN‘s entire surface fleet is now compromised due to its carrier-centric structure. The USN also lacks modern cruise missiles. Entire classes of surface ships are now either outdated (frigates) or have major design failures (LCS).
  • The USAF flies mostly Cold War jets, often modernized, but all in all, it is an outdated fleet, especially when compared to Russian or Chinese 4th++ and 5th generation aircraft. In fact, the absolute disaster of the F-35 program means that for the first time in its history the US aircraft will be qualitatively outgunned by its likely adversaries. Even US AWACS and other reconnaissance aircraft are now threatened by Russian and Chinese very long range anti-air missiles (both ground and air launched).
  • As for the US Army and Marine Corps, the embarrassing disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere prove that the US ground forces are basically only able to protect themselves, and even that not very well.
  • Then there are the recently created Space Forces which exist only on paper and the US Coast Guard which is basically irrelevant in a major war.

Finally, there is the US Special Operations Command, which is not one of the service branches but only a “functional” and “unified combatant” command, but which is often thought of as a separate branch of the armed forces. These forces always look great on propaganda rolls, but the truth is that these putatively “best in the word” (what else?!) forces have yet to achieve even their first real, meaningful, operational success anywhere (at least to balance out their long history of abject failures, from Desert One, to Grenada, to Afghanistan, to Libya, etc.). And minor firefights against a much inferior adversary do not qualify.

Now let me ask the crucial question: what does that mean for Israel?

Well, first, it means that the “poor” Israelis now have to fly with the F-35 as their flagship fighter. In most cases, I would trust the Israelis to modify/upgrade their F-35’s to get rid of at least the worst “features”, but in the case of the F-35 this is not even theoretically possible due to profound design flaws (for those in need of an “official” refresher on the catastrophic reality of the F-35 program, please read this official US government report which includes 276 “critical” deficiencies). Sooner rather than later, the Israeli F-35s will meet the export version of the Su-35, the much cheaper but high-performing Mig-29M/MiG-35 or even a Russian Su-57 and then they will be hopelessly outgunned (even if the outcome of any air-to-air combat cannot be reduced to comparing aircraft, you need a full and much more complex picture to model possible outcomes). Currently, the Su-35 has only been exported to China, but future potential operators could include Egypt, Algeria and Turkey. As for the MiG-29M/MiG-35, countries such as Egypt and Syria have expressed interest.

Speaking of Syria, so far we have seen several cases of Israeli aircraft intercepted and forced to withdraw by Russian Su-35Ss, and not a single case of the opposite. There appears to be at least one case, though not confirmed officially (yet?) of a Russian Su-35S chasing away an USAF F-22 (once the Su-35 and the F-22 are in close enough proximity, the latter has very few hopes of survival).

Can you guess what else the Israelis are going to eventually meet in the skies over the Middle-East? Possibly an export variant of the MiG-31 or even Russian MiG-31BMs (with their 400km R-37 air-to-air missiles). In fact, the range, speed, radar and weapons of this aircraft would make it possible for Russia to maintain combat air patrols over, say, Syria while operating from southern Russia.

I dwell on these aircraft because in the past, and just like the US, the Israelis have always relied on the following combination of factors to prevail:

  • A surprise attack (more or less justified by a false flag or by preemption)
  • The destruction of enemy aircraft when they are still on the ground
  • Air superiority to protect their rotary-wing aircraft and advancing armor

True, the Israelis still have a large force of modified F-16/15/18 (14 squadrons, over 300 aircraft), but just like their US counterparts, they are rapidly becoming dated. In sharp contrast to the dated Israeli Air Force, Israeli neighbors are all acquiring more and more advanced air defense systems along with EW and battle management systems. In other words, this is a very bad time for Israel to rely on F-35s for the foreseeable future.

Right now, the Israelis are regularly bombing Syria, but with very little result other than the mantric, and no doubt therapeutic, proclamations of Jewish superiority over the Arabs. And, predictably, the Ziomedia watching folks in Israel and the West are very impressed. The Syrians, the Iranians and Hezbollah, not so much…

Just like the US MIC put all its eggs into the F-35 basket, so did the Israelis put all their national security eggs into the eternal willingness and capability of Uncle Shmuel to come and rescue them with money, weapons or even soldiers.

The willingness is still here. But the capability is quickly disappearing!

Furthermore, there are two more countries which are entering a period of severe instability which will also affect the security of Israel: Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

In the case of Turkey, the relationship between the US and Turkey is about as low as it ever has been, and there is a very real possibility that, with US sanctions and threats, the Turks might decide to give up on the F-35 and turn to a Russian aircraft, most likely an export version of the Su-35. While that would be (politically) bad news for the US MIC, it would be absolutely terrible news for the Israelis whose relationship with Turkey is generally rather bad. So far, Turkey is still an obedient member of NATO, with all that entails, but the weaker the AngloZionist Empire becomes, the bigger the chances of some kind of political clash between the US and NATO on one hand, and Turkey on the other.

As for the Saudis, they have already been actively courting Moscow because they have realized that Russia has basically replaced the US as the number one regional power. The total failure of the US to provide meaningful assistance to the Saudis in Yemen and the inability of the US air defenses to protect the Saudi oilfield from Houthi missile strikes has convinced the Saudis that from now on, they need to talk to the Russians directly and often.

source: IISS Military Balance 2020

source: IISS Military Balance 2020

True, the US still does have the appearance of real power in the Middle East. Just take a look at this page from the latest IISS Military Balance. There are still a lot of CENTCOM equipment and personnel in the region. But try to look beyond these fancy graphics and ask yourself: what are these forces doing? what are they actually achieving?

I would submit that most of what they do is to try to impress the locals, make money (by all sorts of military contracts) and, last but not least, they try to protect themselves. And yes, the US’s “footprint” in the Middle-East is still big, but that is also what makes US forces so vulnerable to attacks. The Iranians, for example, have made it clear that they see all these facilities and forces as “targets” which, following the high-precision Iranian missile attacks following the murder of General Suleimani, means that Iran now has the means to inflict major damage on any regional force crazy enough to mess with Iran.

Of course, every time somebody writes that the US or Israel are not invincible, there is always at least one person saying something like “yeah, maybe, but they got nukes and they will use them if they are threatened”. To this my reply is different for the case of US and for the case of Israel.

In the case of the USA, while any first use of nukes will result in a political suicide for the Empire, no US adversary in the Middle-East has the capability to retaliate in kind against the USA.

In the case of Israel, however, things are even much more serious.

First, we need to remember that for obvious geographical reasons, the Israelis cannot use nukes on attacking forces, at least not forces anywhere near the Israeli border. Still, if seriously threatened, the Israelis could claim that another “Holocaust” is about to happen and that the “defense of Jewish blood” leaves them no option but to use nukes on, say, Iranian or Syrian targets. I submit that the worse the damage inflicted by any such Israeli nuclear strikes, the stronger the resolve of the Arabs and/or Iranians will be. That is the problem with deterrence: once it has failed, it has totally failed and there is usually no “plan B”.

Does that mean that a major attack on Israel is inevitable?

No, not at all. For one thing, both the US and Israel can still inflict immense damage against any country, or coalition of countries, which would threaten them (and they don’t need to resort to nukes to achieve this). The fact that neither the US nor Israel can achieve anything resembling a “victory” in no way implies that attacking the US or Israel is easy or safe. Both countries have plenty of conventional military power left to extract a huge price from any attacker.

Secondly, it is precisely because the US and Israel have a lot of military power left that their adversaries will favor a gradual and slow weakening of the AngloZionists over an open confrontation. For example, while it is true that the US did not have the stomach to attack Iran following the Iranian retaliatory missile strike, it is also true that the Iranians carefully “tuned” their response so as not to force the US to strike back. The truth is that right now neither country wants an open war.

The same can be said of Syria and Hezbollah who have been very careful not to do anything which would force the Israelis (or the US) to escalate from the current symbolic/pin-prick attacks to real, meaningful, air and missile strikes.

Right now the US can still print enough dollars to maintain Israel afloat, but we already know that while throwing cheap money at a problem is often very tempting, this does not constitute a sustainable strategy, especially when the actual military capabilities of both the US and Israelis are rapidly degrading. Right now, nobody knows how much longer the last openly racist regime on the planet will last, but it is exceedingly unlikely that the Zionist entity will be able to survive without the Empire to prop it up. In other words, sooner rather than later, the “Jewish state of Israel” will have no better chances of survival than, say, the “Independent State of Kosovo” or, for that matter, the “Independent Ukraine”: they are all the ugly metastases of the Empire which by themselves are simply not viable.

IRGC Was Ready To Hit 400 Targets If US Responded Airstrike on Ain Al-Assad – Aerospace Commader

IRGC Was Ready To Hit 400 Targets If US Responded Airstrike on Ain Al-Assad – Aerospace Commader

By Staff, Agencies

Referring to the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC’s] airstrikes on the US occupation airbase of Ain al-Assad in western Iraq, IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said, “If the US responded to our attack on Ain al-Assad, we would be ready to attack 400 American targets.”

Referring to the reactions of US officials to the launch of Iran’s first military satellite into space, Hajizadeh said, “By assassinating Lt. Gen. Soleimani, they wanted to show that they killed a symbol of Resistance, and they were sure that Iran would not respond to their attack.”

“But then they felt somewhat threatened, so they announced that Washington would target 52 cites, including cultural ones, in case Iran targeted US forces,” he added, saying, “But we responded to them by an attack on Ain al-Assad base in Iraq.”

“The day we attacked on Ain al-Assad, we thought the US forces would respond after 20 minutes, so we were ready to attack 400 American targets,” Hajizadeh noted.

“Our plan was to attack 400 US targets if they responded,” he added.

Referring to the successful launch of the first military satellite by IRGC, Hajizadeh also said, “Developed countries have suffered many defeats along the way, but we succeeded in the first step.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has developed these capabilities in recent years and with the help of Almighty God we will take the next steps quickly,” he said emphasizing solid-fuel launchers are equipped with the latest technology in the world.

“Today, gaining access to space and using it is not a choice. It is an inevitable necessity and we must find our place in space,” he added.

“We have great achievements in the field of missiles and defense in the world, and today we have successfully entered the space arena. I have to say that the obstacles have been removed from our path and from now on we will move faster,” the IRGC commander underscored.

He also noted that such successes are reminiscent of relentless efforts and brilliant achievements have taken by martyrs such as Hassan Tehran Moghadam and other martyrs.

The IRGC elite force has successfully launched the Noor-1 Satellite by the domestically-built launcher Qassed [messenger] on Wednesday morning and placed it into the orbit at an altitude of 425km. The launch of Noor-1 which is the Islamic Republic’s first military satellite was carried out on the 41st anniversary of the foundation of the IRGC.

Related Articles

HOW PRECISE IRANIAN MISSILES? ANALYSIS OF MISSILE STRIKES ON U.S. MILITARY BASE IN IRAQ

South Front

This video is based on the analysis of Haider Geoanalyst originally appeared on TheSaker.is

Several sources in the past weeks have analyzed the Iranian missile strikes on US forces at the Ayn Al Asad Airbase which took place more than two weeks ago on the 8th of January 2020 as a retaliation for the US assassination of the Iranian general Qassem Sulaimani.

In this analysis, the post-strike satellite imagery is assessed to give us some insights on what happened at the Ayn Al Asad Airbase and to estimate the accuracy of the Iranian missiles.

It is clear, even prior to conducting any analysis, that the Iranian missiles targeted individual structures with a high rate of accuracy. This analysis attempts to estimate the accuracy in terms of how far the missiles landed from their targets. Since the Iranians did not make public the targets they wanted to hit or destroy, it is assumed that the individual missiles were targeting the actual structures they destroyed or the nearest structures to their impact locations.

A term often used in precision guided munitions (artillery shells, smart-bombs, missiles, etc.) is the circular error probability (CEP). This value is not derived from actual warfare statistics but from weapons testing or claims from the weapons manufacturer. Instead of using the CEP, we will attempt to derive our own statistics from the small sample size of missile strikes.

Introduction to Ayn Al Asad Airbase

The US occupation forces between 2003 and 2005 changed the name of the airbase from its original 1980s name of Qadisiyah Airbase to the name of Ayn Al Asad, which in Arabic literally either means “Eye of the Lion” or in this case “Lion spring” due to the hydrological spring which is now located within the perimeter of the airbase. This spring feeds the Wadi al Asadi stream valley located in the northern part of the air base and flows eastwards into the Euphrates River as one of its tributaries. The main part of the base originally had a perimeter length of 21 km, not including other secondary or auxiliary bases located in the surrounding areas. The perimeter was expanded by the Americans to 34 km (Figure 1), giving the base a total area size of approximately 63 km2 and making it the largest military base in Iraq by area size. For comparison, this is almost twice the size of the New York City metropolitan area.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

The base consists of two major runways (a third runway is unpaved), several taxiways, a variety of different facilities and buildings for personnel, equipment, communications, including sports and leisure centers with theaters and swimming pools. The base further has soft and hardened aircraft shelters (hangars). The trapezoidal shaped hardened aircraft hangers were built by Yugoslavian companies across many bases in Iraq in the 80s and are nicknamed “Yugos” by the Iraqis. The two hardened runways have a length of approximately 3,990 m. This is almost 1 km shorter than Iraq’s longest aircraft runway of 4,800 m located at Erbil airport, which is also one of the longest in the world. For further historical and general information on the Ayn Al Asad Airbase, see the following websites here ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Asad_Airbase ), here ( https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/al-asad.htm ) and here ( https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/al-asad-airbase-iraq/ ).

Reports indicate that around 15 to 16 missiles were fired from multiple locations inside Iran, with at least 10 missiles fired from bases in the Kermanshah area. If this is indeed the case and assuming a straight line flight path, the missiles could have traveled a distance of approximately 425 km from Kermanshah until reaching the Ayn Al Asad Airbase (Figure 2).

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Airbase missile strike overview

In recent days, analysts have identified a total of nine separate missile impact strikes within the Ayn Al Assad Airbase perimeter. This does not exclude the possibility of other missile impact sites within the base’s perimeter which have not been identified or published online. Seven strikes (number 1 to 7) are found at the facilities located just above the northern taxiway and runway, which according to the imagery, houses a variety of drones and aircraft, including V-22 Ospreys, MQ-1 Predator drones, UH-60 Black Hawks and even (K)C-130 Hercules aircraft for transport and refueling. Another missile impact (number 8) is located on the taxiway between the two paved runways and impact number 9 is found on a taxiway in the southeastern complex of hardened aircraft hangars.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 1 and 2

Strikes number 1 and 2 are approximately 110 m apart. Crater impact nr. 1 is 28 m away from the destroyed soft non reinforced target (possibly a tent structure). Nr. 1 has a small circular blast followed by a secondary semi-circle pattern. The secondary pattern towards the west also gives away the eastern incoming missile direction. Impact nr. 1 is peculiar since it is not a direct hit, but landed 28 m next to the nearest structure. The question is if the Iranians intentionally targeted this point or is it an accuracy issue (off by 28 m) ?

Strike nr. 2 has a similar sized crater and blast pattern as nr. 1 (approx. 27 to 28 m). So it is highly possible that both strikes were conducted using the same missile, with strike nr. 2 having a more obvious blast circle due to it landing exactly in the middle of a series of built soft structures (possible tents). From the measurements we can conclude that strike nr. 2 is more or less dead center on the 5 soft like tent structures and there is no substantial accuracy error.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 3

Site nr. 3 contains two soft structures (possible tents). The missile’s crater and circular blast pattern is located almost in the center of the left building. If this building was deliberately targeted, the error is no more than 3 m. For comparison, this is the average accuracy of a handheld GNSS (GPS) device or a current smartphone, which is very impressive for a warhead landing at more than 2000 km/h (terminal velocity).

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 4 and 5

Sites 4 and 5 are two building (soft structures) next to one-another each hit with what seems to be similar type of missiles with primary blast radius of 8 to 9 m and secondary circles of around 20 to 22 m. If the center of the buildings were targeted, accuracy errors are 6 and 14 m for site 4 and 5, respectively. Again, we do not know if the Iranians deliberately targeted a certain part of the structures.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 6

Strike 6 is located on the left side of a long metal roof soft structure, similar to a steel open warehouse. The left half of the building shows a primary blast circle of approximately 17 m in radius, with an overall damage radius of approximately 25 m. If we assume that the center of the building was the actual target, then we find an error of 51 m. Again, the question is whether the left side of this building was deliberately struck instead of the central part. It’s possible to assume that the Iranians intentionally targeted the western side of the building, having prior knowledge the blast radius of their missiles and the importance of the western side of the building.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 7

Strike number 7 is the most easterly impact site and is found near the end of the northern runway. The impact is located almost exactly in the middle of four soft aircraft shelters. The post-strike image (taken a few hours after the event) shows V-22 Ospreys and MQ-1 predator drones parked just south of the shelters. The first circular blast pattern has a 15 m radius. The incoming direction of the missile caused the complete destruction of the adjacent shelter just left of the impact point, while the shelter to the right was lightly damaged. If we assume the Iranians were targeting the middle point of the second shelter (taken from left to right) than the accuracy error would be about 18 m. However, it is highly likely that the four soft shelters were targeted as a single unit. If that is the case, then the missile was only 7 m off (accuracy error) from the middle point.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 8

If we assume that the Iranians are not randomly lobbing missiles inside the airbase with CEP errors of 100 to 500 m as some of the so called “think tank” experts presume (or have previously presumed in recent years), then we can assume that site nr. 8 was targeting the taxiway located between the two paved runways as previously shown in Figure 3. In the images below we can see an impact crater hitting the side of the taxiway. The impact is 23 m from the center of the taxiway pavement and we use this distance as a measure of accuracy. A clear circular blast pattern is visible and a directional blast cone indicates the incoming missile direction.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 9

Strike nr. 9 is the second strike on a taxiway and is the most southern impact site situated in a hardened hangar complex. The impact crater is located almost exactly on one of the corner points of a paved T-junction. If the Iranians purposely targeted this exact point, then the accuracy error could possibly be no more than 2 meters. However, if the target was the actual center of the T-junction, then the error is approximately 11 m. Like in site nr. 8, we see a circular blast with a cone like fan shaped pattern giving the incoming missile direction.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Assessment and conclusions

There are different ways to assess the accuracy of these strikes based on the fact that we do not have the exact coordinates the Iranians wanted  to target. It is not very realistic to assume that the Iranians were perfectly able to target the exact coordinates they intended to hit with perfect accuracy. There is however uncertainty in whether the Iranians intentionally missed some of their targets. The abovementioned observations clearly show a pattern of very accurate strikes on individually targeted buildings/structures. There are two most likely scenarios:

  1. The Iranians intentionally targeted and destroyed some targets. Accuracy errors occurred causing some missiles to miss the exact center point of their targets, with other targets being completely missed.
  2. The Iranians intentionally destroyed some targets and intentionally missed some others.

The table shows the estimated range in accuracy for each of the 9 strike locations based on our observations and interpretation. The green numbers are the most likely errors in meters, while red numbers indicating the less likely errors based on our assumptions of what the Iranians intended to target. An average missile target accuracy of 11 m is based on what are the most likely intended targets (or in other words the most likely scenario). The statistical spread of this small sample size (of only 9 strikes) is 8.5 m. So the lower and upper limits of the accuracy, based on the standard deviation, is estimated to range between 2.5 and 19.5 m. The median value, which is somewhat comparable to the CEP, is 7 m. This means that half of the strikes landed within 7 m. Finally, the average blast (damage) circle is estimated at 21 m.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Let’s visualize these numbers and assume that these numbers can be used in circles. The figure shows a MQ-1 predator drone theoretically being targeted. The yellow line indicates the 11 m mean accuracy value. This is where missiles will land on average. The red line gives the 7 m median value where 50 % of the strikes are found inside this circle. The subsequent figure also includes examples of blast circle (average radius of 21 m) locations in respect to the target.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq
How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Assuming the estimation of the intended targets and measurements are realistic, an Iranian missile accuracy ranging on average between 2.5 and 19.5 m is very impressive to say the least and indicates the use of advanced terminal guidance technology (guiding a missile in its terminal phase). Reports have suggested that the Fateh-313 tactical short range ballistic missile (SRBM) was used in the Ayn Al Asad Airbase attack, with other reports suggesting that the Qiam 1 was also used in the attack, including on Erbil Airport. The Fateh-313 is an upgraded Fateh-110, with an increased missile range up to 500 km. Terminal guidance technologies are most likely to be combined, including inertial guidance systems (INS), GNSS systems and possibly electro-optical guidance.

الحرب البيولوجيّة الأميركيّة ضدّ إيران

د. ساعود ساعود

على غرار عواصف الجراد في السعودية وباكستان، داهم فيروس كورونا ووهان، وأتبعها بإيران، دولٌ باتت في حيرة من أمرها إزاء هذا الفيروس اللعين، إلى درجة التشكيك به كمؤامرة ضدها. وحديثنا عن إيران، حيث تناقلت وسائل الإعلان قول عضو لجنة الأمن القومي في البرلمان الإيراني، شهرور برزغر قائلاً: «ما فهمته من حديث وزير الصحة أن هناك نوعين من فيروس كورونا في إيران أحدهما فيروس ووهان والآخر مجهول المنشأ، وهذا برأيي يعزز احتمال وجود هجوم بيولوجي إرهابي أميركي في إيران».

وفي السياق نفسه، قالت القوات المسلحة الإيرانية إن لديها معطيات بشأن احتمال وجود «هجوم بيولوجي أميركي» على إيران عبر نشر فيروس كورونا في البلاد. وفي لقاء مع قناة العالم الإيرانية الناطقة بالعربية قال عراقي زادة: «أعتقد بأنّ لدينا بعض المعطيات ونتحدث عن الهجوم البيولوجي على أساس هذه المعطيات.

ونعتقد بأن الولايات المتحدة لديها مختبرات في مناطق مختلفة من العالم تعمل في هذه المختبرات على تطبيق بكتيريات وفيروسات وعلم هندسة الجينات وصناعة مواد بيولوجية. وبما أن فيروس كورونا حديث، فربما وبالإمكان ويمكن أن يكون هذا الفيروس قد تم خلقه في المختبرات الأميركية.

ونحن ننظر إلى هذا الموضوع كاحتمال، سندرس هذا الأمر وإن توصلنا لنتيجة فسوف نعلن عنها».

وما سأقوم به في هذه المقالة هو دراسة احتمال أن يكون فيروس كورونا سلاح بيولوجي ضد إيران، فحسب ما أراه ويراه الكثيرون غيري، أنّه ليس من عادة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية أن تترك خصومها والمهددين لأمنها بسلام. والأدلة والإثباتات كثيرة منها استراتيجية الاحتواء الأميركية للشيوعية أثناء الحرب الباردة، والاتحاد السوفياتي أيضاً خصم أميركا الذي كانت سبباً في انهياره 1991م، كذلك دول منطقة الشرق الأوسط التي تهدّد أمن «اسرائيل» – من وجهة نظرهم وحسب ما تقر به أدبياتهم – بداية بالعراق واتهامه أميركياً بامتلاك أسلحة تدمير شامل فكان غزو 2003م، وما شهدته سورية الدولة القوية التي تخشاها «اسرائيل» فكان عام 2011م وبداية حرب كونيّة ضد سورية لتدميرها وتفتيت قواها، وإيران مثال آخر ترى فيه أميركا تهديداً لها ولحلفائها مصادر الاستغلال الأميركي، فكان اتهام إيران بمشروعها النووي بحجة عسكرته لا سلميّته.

والنتيجة إن الولايات المتحدة الأميركية لم تترك على مدى التاريخ دولة من الدول أو قوة من القوى بلغت مستوى عالياً من التطوّر والتقدّم، ولا دولة ترى فيها تهديداً لمصالحها إلا وحاولت تدميرها بأسلوب من الأساليب عبر مؤسساتها العسكرية والأمنية والاستخبارية ومراكز بحوثها العلمية.

وهنا لا بد من ذكر بعض الأسباب التي تجعل إيران هدفاً أميركياً منها مثلاً:

أولاً: البرنامج النووي الإيراني قد بات نقطة مركزية في التوتر الأميركي – الإيراني.

ثانياً: البرنامج الصاروخي لطهران رغم أنّه عامل ردع بالنسبة لإيران لا أكثر، إلا أن الأميركي يصوّر الأمر كما يحلو له، ويعتبره تهديداً لمصالحها ولمصالح حلفائها في منطقة الشرق الأوسط.

ثالثاً: العداء والصدام بين إيران وحلفائها من جهة وأميركا وحلفائها، خصوصاً في منطقة الشرق الأوسط.

عموماً أنّ تاريخ الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، مليء بمثل هذه الأحداث والتجارب والشواهد كثيرة أهمها ما يخص التجريب على البشر مثال:

أولاً: في عام 1950، من أجل إجراء محاكاة هجوم الحرب البيولوجية، رشت البحرية الأميركية كميات كبيرة من البكتيريا السراتية الذابلة – كانت تعتبر غير مؤذية في هذا الوقت – فوق مدينة سان فرانسيسكو خلال مشروع يسمى عملية رذاذ البحر. أُصيب العديد من المواطنين بأمراض تشبه الالتهاب الرئوي، وتُوفي شخص على الأقل كنتيجة لذلك.

ثانياً: كتبت سان فرانسيسكو كرونيكل، بتاريخ 17 ديسمبر، 1979، صفحة 5 عن ادعاء الكنيسة العلموية بأن وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية أجرت تجربة حرب بيولوجية في الهواء الطلق في عام 1955 بالقرب من تامبا، فلوريدا ومناطق أخرى في ولاية فلوريدا ببكتيريا السعال الديكي. وزعمت أن التجربة زادت من إصابات السعال الديكي بمقدار ثلاثة أضعاف في فلوريدا وأصيب أكثر من ألف حالة وتسبب ذلك في زيادة حالات الوفاة بسبب السعال الديكي في الدولة من واحد إلى 12 عن العام السابق.

ثالثاً: في عام 1966، أطلق الجيش الأميركي بكتيريا جلوبيجي العصوية إلى نظام مترو أنفاق مدينة نيويورك كجزء من دراسة ميدانية تُسمى دراسة قابلية إصابة ركاب المترو في مدينة نيويورك بهجوم سري باستخدام العوامل البيولوجية. خضع نظام مترو أنفاق شيكاغو أيضاً لتجربة مماثلة من قبل الجيش. وهناك تجارب الإشعاع الذري والتلوث الإشعاعي.

وبناء على هذه الوقائع الموثقة تاريخياً، بنيت اعتقادي بأنّ الولايات المتحدة الأميركية قد خططت لنشر فيروس كورونا في إيران من قبيل حرب بيولوجية تريحها من تحريك أي ساكن، وأرباحها كثيرة لا تقدّر بثمن على الصعد الشتى.

إنّ العمل على نشر فيروس كورونا، وتضخيم أثاره السلبية على إيران، يندرج ضمن مخطط أميركي لضربها اقتصادياً وعسكرياً وثقافياً ضمن إطار ما يسمى اليوم بحروب الجيل الرابع والخامس؛ التي تقوم على خلق أزمات ونشر الأوبئة والأمراض تحت إطار الحروب البيولوجية، وبث الفتن والاشاعات وهدم القيم والتراث، وهدم المجتمع بشكل عام، والابتعاد نهائياً عن أسلوب الصدام المباشر. ولقد أتضحت وثبت هذه النتيجة في ضوء القرائن التاريخية للتجارب البيولوجية الأميركية، وللتعامل الأميركي مع القوى المنافسة لها وللقوى الصاعدة أيضاً.

وعلى هذا الأساس إنّ فيروس كورونا هو شكل من أشكال الحرب البيولوجية الأميركية لإيران.

*أستاذ جامعي.

Iran Attack on Two US Bases, The “Evil Empire” Strikes Back. The Casualties?

Iran’s Retaliation Against the US

By Larry Romanoff

Global Research, February 09, 2020

After their excessive and macabre display of delight and satisfaction, and even celebration, over the killing of Solemani, the White House was tight-lipped about Iran’s almost immediate retaliatory missile attack on two US bases in Iraq, with Donald Trump soon claiming only a bit of physical damage, announcing on Twitter a day after the attack, “No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties.” Trump also stated there was no significant damage to the bases.

CNN initially reported that there were only casualties among Iraqi personnel but then quickly dropped the story altogether, initially stating “After days of anticipation, Tehran’s zero-casualty retaliation came as a relief to many. (1) At the time, Iranian officials maintained that the US had suffered least 80 dead and perhaps 200 wounded in the attack.

That story is slowly unwinding to indicate something very different, with various Middle East media reporting multiple casualties, and statements from the US Central Command directly contradicting Trump’s comments.

First, Al-Qabas, a leading Arabic-language newspaper in Kuwait reported that after the attack 16 US servicemen had been flown in secrecy and “under tight security” to a US military hospital at Camp Arjifan in Ahmed Al-Jaber Air Base in Kuwait, and that the men were clearly suffering from severe burns and shrapnel wounds. Al-Qabas further reported that all had undergone surgery but remained in the ICU at the hospital (2) (3).

The paper later reported that another 8 casualties had been flown to Germany for treatment, with more to Camp Arjifan, and that many others with more minor injuries were being treated in Iraq. These flights were confirmed by the Pentagon, stating the soldiers had been flown to Germany and Kuwait for screening of “potential concussion injuries” and “possible brain injuries” and suffered in the attack.

But then it seemed that every week the casualty list enlarged, now at 50 and still counting. In keeping with the US government’s war on truth, the US Central Command said, “it is possible additional injuries may be identified in the future”, apparently committing themselves to the political safety of drip-feeding fatalities and injuries on the pretense of them being unrelated.

Nevertheless, the US continues to inflate the number of troops diagnosed with “traumatic brain injuries” caused by Iranian missile strikes.

It seems perhaps politically expedient but humanly bizarre for Trump to have claimed, “I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say and I can report it is not very serious”, adding that he didn’t “consider them serious injuries relative to other injuries I’ve seen.” (4)

Then, Brigadier General Ali Hajizadeh, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, stated in a press conference that although Iran was not directly seeking to kill American soldiers, “at the very least, many tens of US troops have likely been killed”.

He said if deaths had been his intention, Iran’s missiles could have killed at least 5,000. He went on to document that the casualties from that attack “were transferred to Israel and Jordan on 9 sorties of C-130 flights”. The C-130 Hercules is a huge aircraft that can carry 100 passengers or 75 fully-equipped troops, so 9 flights would represent at least several hundred casualties.

Nevertheless, that military operation was described as merely “a slap in the face” to the US, and that “a harsher revenge” would soon come. (5)

Ali Hajizadeh also claimed that Iran had identified more than 100 critical US locations across the entire region, should the US “make any mistake again”. Reports are that Iran targeted the Ayn Al-Assad air base because it holds the highest number of US troops in Iraq, but also because that is the base location of the American Reaper drones.

It is interesting that the casualties were experienced on a major American airbase equipped with the Patriot missile defense system, and that the Americans received ample warning (more than 6 hours) of the impending attack from several sources – the Danes, the Swiss authorities, and the Iraqi government. Danish soldiers said on Danish TV that they were give a 6-hour warning of the attack by the Iranians and shared this information. (6) (7)

In spite of what one writer termed “almost ideal conditions from the point of view of defense”, the Americans appear to have miserably failed in their ability to protect themselves. It isn’t clear how or why American soldiers would have incurred so many casualties, and especially brain damage from an attack they knew was coming. (8)

After the Saudi Aramco attacks, and after failing to even identify much less intercept the Iranian missiles in Iraq, it appears that the Patriot missiles are indeed what Foreign Policy termed “a lemon of a missile defense system”. 9Reports are that not even one Patriot missile was fired in defense against the 15 incoming missiles.

Researchers at the Defense and Arms Control Studies Program at MIT performed a detailed study of all available video evidence of the use and effectiveness of the American Patriot missile system and stated there was “no unambiguous evidence” that Patriot missiles destroyed even one incoming missile. It stated that “The videos instead contain substantial evidence that Patriot’s success rate was very low, possibly even zero”. (9)

Several troops to whom CNN spoke, said the event had shifted their view of warcraft: the US military is rarely on the receiving end of sophisticated weaponry, despite launching the most advanced attacks in the world. “You looked around at each other and you think: Where are we going to run? How are you going to get away from that?” said Ferguson. “I don’t wish anyone to have that level of fear,” he said. “No one in the world should ever have to feel something like that.” (1)

On January 13, 2020, the Pentagon replied to a FOIA request from US Congressman B. G. Thompson on the casualties and damage sustained by the US in the Iranian missile attack. You can read his reply in the attached photo, but he stated the US military had incurred 139 deceased, 146 injured, and “extensive damage to 15 helicopters, 2 cargo aircraft and 3 MQ-1 Predator drones”. He further outlined “extensive damage” to the base command center, hangars and barracks, the aircraft control tower and the runways.

He said further that “initial assessments indicate mentioned damages will cause “total impairment” … of air base activities for at least 3 weeks.”

I want to make a request here. I don’t mean to tease you, but this is a trick question. Please read the above paragraph again, and identify what is to you the most important point.

* An elected US Congressman – the US Government in fact – had to resort to a Freedom of Information Request to learn the facts of a critical adventure experienced by his own military – a request that could easily have been refused on grounds of ‘national security’.

Thompson is not only an elected Congressman but the Chairman of the Department of Homeland Security, not a trivial position by any measure, and yet his personal requests for information must have been refused if he were forced to resort to FOIA for an answer. Who is the servant and whom the master? On this one metric alone, on what grounds can you rebut the double assertions that (1) the US government is not in control of the US and, (2) agggttreyuioummllllllllll

5533321democracy in America is a dead corpse wearing a Disneyland shroud?

Iran Retaliates in Afghanistan

When the Taliban in Afghanistan claimed to have shot down an American military aircraft in Ghazni, Afghanistan, the US initially denied the event, then, after clear and graphic images were posted publicly, admitted the loss of a Bombardier E-11A plane. The US at first disclaimed knowledge of the number or identity of the crew or passengers, then claimed only two occupants, later revised to 6 after more photos emerged. Russian intelligence sources almost immediately claimed that American Michael D’Andrea was killed in that crash, the aircraft apparently serving as his mobile command post in Afghanistan. (10)

D’Andrea was a prominent figure, the head of Iran operations for the CIA, and the man who orchestrated the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani as well as other targeted murders. The New York Times claimed D’Andrea had overseen hundreds of drone strikes which “killed thousands of Islamist militants and hundreds of civilians”. The US government has officially denied his death and has refused requests to display him in public, which almost certainly means the claims of his death are accurate.

It was also speculated that Iran organised the downing of that aircraft, having previously provided considerable anti-aircraft hardware and training to the Taliban, and not being without intelligence sources of their own. Several Iranian journalists posted comments on social media that “the name of Iran will emerge in this case”, and “We are attacking them on the same level as they are attacking us.” An Italian reporter, Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio, first published in Italy the news of D’Andrea having been killed, stating “The news is so big that we have to write it running the risk of a denial”. (11)

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.Video: Trump Calls Upon Iran: “We Should Work Together”

Notes

(1) https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/13/middleeast/iran-strike-al-asad-base-iraq-exclusive-intl/index.html

(2) https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200120-16-us-soldiers-flown-to-kuwait-hospital-after-iran-strike/

(3) ١٦ جندي أمريكي يعالجون في أحد المستشفيات بالكويت من أصابات خطيرة وحروق شديدة نتيجة الهجوم على قاعدة عين الأسد، وترامب يقول لم يصب أحد، وما خفي أعظم pic.twitter.com/w2JnUp1ZgZ; — د. صلاح الفضلي (@salahfadly) January 19, 2020

(4)https://t.co/anmIdCHO6a pic.twitter.com/boSjvDujCS

(5) https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200124-the-truth-about-us-casualties-in-the-iran-attack-is-slowly-coming-out/

(6) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-security-denmark/denmark-had-six-hours-warning-of-iranian-attack-on-iraqi-bases-tv-idUSKBN1Z91O1

(7) https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/13/middleeast/iran-strike-al-asad-base-iraq-exclusive-intl/index.html

(8) https://www.unz.com/tsaker/u-s-in-the-middle-east-preparing-for-disaster/

(9) https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/28/patriot-missiles-are-made-in-america-and-fail-everywhere/

(10) https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200128-cia-chief-behind-soleimanis-assassination-killed-in-downed-plane-in-afghanistan/

(11) pic.twitter.com/7Da2jmkHug; Veterans Today, January 28, 2020

Featured image is from the authorThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Larry Romanoff, Global Research, 2020

الأولوية لكسر منظومة الهيمنة الأميركية

رأي وليد شرارة الأربعاء 29 كانون الثاني 2020

لن يتمكّن دونالد ترامب وزمرته من نسيان اسم الفريق الشهيد قاسم سليماني بسرعة. الرئيس الأخرق قال في أحد مهرجاناته الأخيرة، مخاطباً جمهوره من «الرقاب الحمراء»، إنهم كلّما رأوا جنوداً سابقين مبتوري الأيدي أو الأرجل في شوارع المدن الأميركية، عليهم أن يتذكروا أن عبوات سليماني هي التي تسبّبت بذلك. لن تنسى نخب المستوطنة البيضاء الكبيرة، ولا شعبها، القائد الذي دفّعهم من لحمهم ودمهم ثمن استباحتهم لدماء «الآخرين»، ولبلادهم وثرواتهم. ومع توالي «الأخبار غير السارّة» في الأيام الأخيرة بالنسبة إلى زمرة المعتوهين، من التظاهرة المليونية في بغداد، مروراً بقصف السفارة الأميركية فيها، وصولاً إلى إسقاط الطائرة الأميركية في أفغانستان، يرى هؤلاء شبح سليماني يطوف فوق مسرح عمليات يشمل الإقليم برمّته. ربما بدأ الرئيس الأميركي وزمرته، بإدراك العواقب الوخيمة التي ستترتب على قرار اغتيال قائد بهذا الوزن، أو من المحتمل أن يتوصلوا إلى مثل هذه القناعة بعد وقوع عمليات أخرى مشابهة. الأكيد هو أن «العقلاء» في النخبة الأميركية، بحسب مقال لأوري فريدمان على موقع «ذي اتلانتيك»، وكذلك قطاع واسع من الأميركيين ومن المرشحين الرئاسيين «التقدميين»، يدفعون في اتجاه الحد من الوجود العسكري في الشرق الأوسط. واذا كان الرئيس الأميركي الأسبق، دوايت ايزنهاور، هو من فتح «صندوق باندورا»، وفقاً لتعبير الرئيس نفسه، أي ورّط الولايات المتحدة في الشرق الأوسط، عبر التدخل عسكرياً في لبنان ضد ثورة 1958، فإن «العديد من المسؤولين الأميركيين اليوم يخشون النتائج الكارثية لإبقاء هذا الصندوق مفتوحاً»، برأي فريدمان. معركة حاسمة تُخاض في منطقتنا، تثير نقاشاً جدياً في الولايات المتحدة، وستقرّر مآلاتها مستقبل «الوجود الأميركي» فيها، أي الاحتلال والحروب والهيمنة العاتية عليها وما نجم عنها من كوارث ودمار. لكنّ تيارات سياسية عربية بعينها، وعدداً من المثقفين، يصرّون على اعتبارها «حرب الآخرين على أرضنا»، كما عرّف البعض الحرب اللبنانية في زمن مضى. الطبيعة المصيرية لهذه المعركة تفرض الرد على أطروحات تيار «لا أميركا ولا إيران» المذكور، عبر تثبيت جملة من الحقائق تتعلق بخلفياتها، وبأسباب العداء الغربي العميق لإيران، لنخلص إلى تحديد موقعنا الصحيح، المنسجم مع مصالحنا وتطلعاتنا كعرب، منها.

حرب أميركا المديدة علينا وعلى إيران

سيسارع الكثيرون إلى القول بأن ما سيلي، هو بديهيات يعرفها أي مطّلع على شؤون السياسة الدولية منذ مرحلة ما بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية، لكن التذكير بالبديهيات ضرورة قصوى عند ملاحظة انتشار السرديات المضلّلة التي تروّجها أجهزة الدعاية الأيديولوجية الأميركية والغربية، عمّا يجري في منطقتنا والعالم في أوساط محسوبة تاريخياً على الصف الوطني. إن أردنا تلخيص السياسة الخارجية الأميركية حيال دول الجنوب عامة، فإن أدقّ توصيف لها هو ذلك الذي قدمته الكاتبة الهندية أرونداتي روي، عندما قالت إنها حلّت في مكان القوى الاستعمارية الأوروبية في قتل الشعوب الملوّنة. يصحّ هذا الكلام، بشكل خاص، في آخر ثلاثة عقود على الفضاء العربي والإسلامي الذي يتعرّض لمعاملة استثنائية بكل ما للكلمة من معنى. هل يذكر جميع الداعين للتركيز على أولوية التغيير الداخلي، و«معالجة مشكلاتنا بدلاً من توجيه التهمة دائماً إلى الخارج»، عدد العراقيين الذين قتلتهم الولايات المتحدة منذ عام 1991؟ إذا جمعنا ضحايا الحرب التي شنّت على العراق بذريعة تحرير الكويت، عام 1991، إلى أولئك الذين قضوا نتيجة للحصار الإجرامي الذي فرض عليه حتى عام 2003، ومن ثمّ الذين سقطوا خلال الغزو والاحتلال الذي تعرّض له، سيتراوح عددهم ما بين 3,5 و5 ملايين عراقي، استناداً إلى دراسات مجلة «ذي لانسيت» وبرنامج «إحصاء الجثث في العراق»، وإلى العديد من التقارير التي أعدّتها منظمات وهيئات مدافعة عن حقوق الإنسان. لقد قامت الولايات المتحدة بـ«محو العراق» الذي عرفناه قبل الغزو، في سياق حربها المديدة على العرب وتطلعهم إلى الاستقلال والوحدة، والتي شنّت منذ ستينات القرن الماضي ضد مصر الناصرية ولم تنته إلى الآن. وقد وصلت الصلافة الأميركية إلى ذروتها، مع رفض إدارة ترامب سحب قواتها من العراق رغم طلب رئيس الوزراء العراقي منها ذلك، بعد تصويت البرلمان على قرار لإخراج هذه القوات، ولم تتردّد بتوعّد الملايين التي نزلت إلى الشوارع للمطالبة برحيلها. المسؤول الأول عمّا آلت اليه أحوال العراق من فساد ومحاصصة طائفية وإفقار مروّع لشعبه، هو الاحتلال الأميركي الذي دمّر الدولة وأسّس نظاماً سياسياً يقوم على المحاصصة والفساد. مهما كان الموقف من إيران و/أو الأحزاب والتنظيمات المتحالفة معها، ألا تشكل المواجهة المحتدمة حالياً بينهم وبين المحتل الأميركي مناسبة بنظر أي وطني عراقي أو عربي للنضال ضد الأخير لطرده من بلاد الرافدين، كمقدمة لدحره عن المنطقة؟ لا حاجة إلى التذكير بالدور المركزي الذي لعبته الولايات المتحدة ووكيلها الإسرائيلي في حرمان العرب من حقهم بتقرير المصير كأمة ونحن أمام فرصة تاريخية لتصعيد النضال لكسر منظومة الهيمنة التي فرضت عليهم منذ عقود طويلة. وأهم من يعتقد بأن بإمكان شعوب المنطقة الخروج من الحفرة التي رُموا فيها نتيجة للتجزئة وزرع إسرائيل في قلبها والاستتباع، وإطلاق دينامية للتنمية وبناء نظم سياسية تمثل هذه الشعوب وتعمل على تحقيق تطلعاتها، من دون كسر منظومة الهيمنة. والسبيل إلى ذلك، تغيير موازين القوى الميدانية والعسكرية الذي يسعى إليه محور المقاومة وفي قلبه إيران.

دور إيران في مواجهة إسرائيل سبب عداء الغرب لها

يكفي أن يصرّح مسؤول إيراني غداً بأنّ إيران مستعدة أن تقبل الحل الذي ترتضيه السلطة الفلسطينية للصراع مع إسرائيل، حتى ولو أنّ هذا الحل لم يعد مقبولاً من الإنجيليين الصهاينة المسيطرين داخل الإدارة الأميركية، لكي يتغيّر الموقف الأميركي والغربي منها. العداء الأميركي والغربي المسعور لإيران، لا مثيل له في مواقف هذه الأطراف من أية قوى أخرى في العالم. قامت الدنيا ولم تقعد على برنامج إيران النووي السلمي، بينما لم نشهد جنوناً شبيهاً تجاه القنبلة النووية الباكستانية مثلاً، رغم الشعبية الواسعة التي تحظى بها التيارات السلفية الجهادية في هذا البلد، بما فيه في أوساط الاستخبارات والجيش. ما يفسر هذا الأمر هو وظيفة القنبلة الباكستانية الهادفة إلى خلق توازن رعب مع الهند قبل أي طرف آخر. أما إيران، ورغم قبولها بالاتفاق النووي المجحف بحقها، فبقيت في دائرة الاستهداف وأصبح مشروعها الباليستي يعتبر مصدر التهديد الرئيسي للأمن والاستقرار في الإقليم وحتى في العالم، لأنه يفرض توازن رعب مع إسرائيل. مجلة «ذي إيكونوميست»، في عددها الصادر في 18 من الشهر الحالي، أشارت إلى التطوّر الكبير الذي أظهرته الضربة الإيرانية لقاعدة عين أسد الأميركية في مستوى دقة الصواريخ الإيرانية القصيرة المدى، لأنّ ما يسميه الخبراء «دائرة الخطأ المحتمل»، قد ضاق قطرها من كيلومترين، في الفترة التي أطلق فيها العراق صواريخه على إسرائيل عام 1991، إلى 5 أمتار مع ضربة عين أسد. وأكد كريستوفير كلاري، وهو خبير قابلته المجلة، أن «امتلاك إيران للصواريخ الدقيقة سيجعل أية خطة حرب أميركية أكثر صعوبة للتنفيذ. لن يستطيع البنتاغون أن يجمع قواته في الموانئ والمطارات والقواعد المنتشرة في المنطقة، كما فعل قبل حربَيه على العراق في عامَي 1991 و2003». إنّ تطوير تكنولوجيا الصواريخ من قبل إيران، ومدّ حلفائها بها ومساعدتهم على تصنيعها في بلادهم، إضافة إلى التحولات التي شهدتها الحروب المندلعة في الإقليم في السنوات الماضية لمصلحة محور المقاومة، هي عوامل تسريع لعملية التغيير التدريجية، ولكن المستمرة في موازين القوى. هذا هو الدافع لهلع الإسرائيليين والأميركيين، ولاعتمادهم سياسة الحرب الهجينة تجاهها، التي قد تنزلق إلى حرب مفتوحة ومروّعة. إيران آخر دولة في العالم تقف معنا في خندق المواجهة الميدانية ضد إسرائيل، وتساهم كمياً ونوعياً في مراكمة وتطوير قدراتنا ضدها. الغريب أن بعض القوى التي كانت ترفض أي نقد لموقف الاتحاد السوفياتي من التسوية السلمية للصراع مع إسرائيل، بحجة دعمه السياسي والعسكري لدول وأطراف عربية وفلسطينية وتفيض إطراء على أي موقف أوروبي يقرّ بأن للفلسطينيين «حقوقاً»، تهاجم اليوم إيران، رغم كلّ ما تتعرّض له، وما يمكن أن تتعرّض له من أهوال في ظل الاحتدام الراهن للصراع، بسبب موقفها المبدئي من قضية فلسطين. والحقيقة، هي أن هذه القوى لم تعد تعتبر قضية فلسطين أو النضال ضد الهيمنة الإمبريالية أولوية، وهي قدمت عليها أولويات أخرى. أما المعنيون بقضية فلسطين، وبالتحرر الحقيقي والوحدة والنهضة، وشرطهم الأول والأساسي كسر منظومة الهيمنة الأميركية ــ الإسرائيلية قبل أي شرط آخر، فلا خيار أمامهم سوى المشاركة الكاملة في معركة المصير الواحد الدائرة اليوم.

Analysis of the Iranian missile strikes on Ayn Al Asad Airbase

by Haider Geoanalyst for The Saker Blog

January 28, 2020

Several sources in the past several days have analyzed the Iranian missile strikes on US forces at the Ayn Al Asad Airbase which took place more than two weeks ago on the 8th of January 2020 as a retaliation for the US assassination of the Iranian general Qassem Sulaimani. The reports have focused on several topics and methods ranging from satellite image interpretation, videos of missile launches and incoming missile strikes to analysis of on-site photos of (unexploded) Iranian missiles in and around the targeted airbases in Iraq.

In this analysis we will look closer at the satellite imagery to give us more insight on what happened at the Ayn Al Asad Airbase and to help us answer some questions like what kind of missiles did the Iranians use, what kind of targets did the Iranians aim for (or destroy) and what kind of information can we derive in terms of accuracy of the Iranian missiles.

It is clear, even prior to conducting any analysis, that the Iranian missiles obviously targeted individual structures with a high rate of accuracy. In this analysis we look at accuracy in terms of how far the missiles landed from their targets. Since the Iranians did not make public the targets they wanted to hit or destroy, we will have to assume that the individual missiles were targeting the actual structures they destroyed or the nearest structures to their impact locations. Another possibility is that the Iranians deliberately struck areas near or outside some of the targets. We will consider both scenarios.

A term often used in precision guided munitions (artillery shells, smart-bombs, missiles, etc.) is the circular error probability (CEP). This is when a circle is drawn around 50 % of the targets that land on a single aim point. This value is not derived from actual warfare statistics but from weapons testing or claims from the weapons manufacturer. Also important to note is that the CEP accuracy is tested by firing the same type of missile many times at a single target instead of directing the same type of missile at multiple independent targets. We will attempt to derive our own statistics from the small sample size of missile strikes at the airbase. This analysis is also a follow up on the very interesting article posted by The Saker which also assessed the initial satellite images made available online of the Ayn Al Asad Airbase strikes, see here https://thesaker.is/the-anglozionist-empire-vs-iran-a-discussion-of-the-recent-events/ .

As geospatial experts with experience in aerial and satellite image interpretation, our eyes are trained, through formal training, education and on the job experience, to look for patterns, colors and contrasts among many other techniques to describe and interpret what we are actually looking at. We also apply image classification techniques and manipulate remotely sensed data (orthophotos, multi-spectral, hyper-spectral, thermal, LiDAR, Radar, etc.) to capture more information in order to help us further interpret the situation. Most of us are specialized in a certain field within the spatial related sciences like forestry, energy, transport, geology, archeology or urban planning. I must mention that since I am not a trained expert in the intelligence or military field like several of my colleagues in this branch, there could be short comings in my analysis and in the used terminology. Having said that, I have been regularly interpreting military related imagery on and off in my free time in the past several years.

Introduction to Ayn Al Asad Airbase

The US occupation forces between 2003 and 2005 changed the name of the airbase from its original 1980s name of Qadisiyah Airbase to the name of Ayn Al Asad, which in Arabic literally either means “Eye of the Lion” or in this case “Lion spring” due to the hydrological spring which is now located within the perimeter of the airbase. This spring feeds the Wadi al Asadi stream valley located in the northern part of the air base and flows eastwards into the Euphrates River as one of its tributaries. The main part of the base originally had a perimeter length of 21 km, not including other secondary or auxiliary bases located in the surrounding areas. The perimeter was expanded by the Americans to 34 km (Figure 1), giving the base a total area size of approximately 63 km2 and making it the largest military base in Iraq by area size. For comparison, this is almost twice the size of the New York City metropolitan area.

Figure 1 Satellite imagery of the Ayn Al Asad Airbase with the original airbase perimeter in blue and the extended perimeter in red. The two paved runways are indicated by the light blue rectangles. (Sources: © HERE, DigitalGlobe, Navteq, Planet Labs Inc.)

The base consists of two major runways (a third runway is unpaved), several taxiways, a variety of different facilities and buildings for personnel, equipment, communications, including sports and leisure centers with theaters and swimming pools. The base further has soft and hardened aircraft shelters (hangars). The trapezoidal shaped hardened aircraft hangers were built by Yugoslavian companies across many bases in Iraq in the 80s and are nicknamed “Yugos” by the Iraqis. The two hardened runways have a length of approximately 3,990 m. This is almost 1 km shorter than Iraq’s longest aircraft runway of 4,800 m located at Erbil airport, which is also one of the longest in the world. For further historical and general information on the Ayn Al Asad Airbase, see the following websites here ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Asad_Airbase ), here ( https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/al-asad.htm ) and here ( https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/al-asad-airbase-iraq/ ).

Reports indicate that around 15 to 16 missiles were fired from multiple locations inside Iran, with at least 10 missiles fired from bases in the Kermanshah area. If this is indeed the case and assuming a straight line flight path, the missiles could have traveled a distance of approximately 425 km from Kermanshah until reaching the Ayn Al Asad Airbase (Figure 2).

Figure 2 Distance between Kermanshah and the Ayn Al Assad Airbase (Sources: National Geographic, Esri, Garmin, HERE, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, INCREMENT P, DigitalGlobe, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, GeoEye, USDA FSA, USGS, Aerogrid, IGN, IGP, and the GIS User Community)

Airbase missile strike overview

In recent days, analysts have identified a total of nine separate missile impact strikes within the Ayn Al Assad Airbase perimeter. This does not exclude the possibility of other missile impact sites within the base’s perimeter which have not been identified or published online. Figure 3 shows the location of the nine impact sites which we will look at in more detail. Seven strikes (number 1 to 7) are found at the facilities located just above the northern taxiway and runway, which according to the imagery, houses a variety of drones and aircraft, including V-22 Ospreys, MQ-1 Predator drones, UH-60 Black Hawks and even (K)C-130 Hercules aircraft for transport and refueling. Another missile impact (number 8) is located on the taxiway between the two paved runways and impact number 9 is found on a taxiway in the southeastern complex of hardened aircraft hangars.

Figure 3 Satellite imagery of the Ayn Al Asad Airbase showing the nine missile strike locations where Iranian missiles landed. (Sources: Planet Labs Inc.)

Site number 1 and 2

Strikes number 1 and 2 are approximately 110 m apart. Crater impact nr. 1 is 28 m away from the destroyed soft non reinforced target (possibly a tent structure). Nr. 1 has a small circular blast followed by a secondary semi-circle pattern. The secondary pattern towards the west also gives away the eastern incoming missile direction. Impact nr. 1 is peculiar since it is not a direct hit, but landed 28 m next to the nearest structure. The question is if the Iranians intentionally targeted this point or is it an accuracy issue (off by 28 m) ? We can consider both scenarios for now and later discuss which is more likely when we compare other missile impact locations.

Strike nr. 2 has a similar sized crater and blast pattern as nr. 1 (approx. 27 to 28 m). So it is highly possible that both strikes were conducted using the same missile, with strike nr. 2 having a more obvious blast circle due to it landing exactly in the middle of a series of built soft structures (possible tents). From the measurements we can conclude that strike nr. 2 is more or less dead center on the 5 soft like tent structures and there is no substantial accuracy error.

Site number 3

Site nr. 3 contains two soft structures (possible tents). The missile’s crater and circular blast pattern is located almost in the center of the left building. We estimated that if this building was deliberately targeted, the error is no more than 3 m. For comparison, this is the average accuracy of a handheld GNSS (GPS) device or a current smartphone, which is very impressive for a warhead landing at more than 2000 km/h (terminal velocity).

Site number 4 and 5

Sites 4 and 5 are two building (soft structures) next to one-another each hit with what seems to be similar type of missiles with primary blast radius of 8 to 9 m and secondary circles of around 20 to 22 m. If we assume that the middle of buildings were targeted, we find accuracy errors of 6 and 14 m for site 4 and 5, respectively. Again, we do not know if the Iranians deliberately targeted a certain part of the structures.

Site number 6

Strike 6 is located on the left side of a long metal roof soft structure, similar to a steel open warehouse. The left half of the building shows a primary blast circle of approximately 17 m in radius, with an overall damage radius of approximately 25 m. If we assume that the center of the building was the actual target, then we find an error of 51 m. Again, the question is whether the left side of this building was deliberately struck instead of the central part. We speculate that it is likely that the Iranians intentionally targeted the western side of the building, having prior knowledge the blast radius of their missiles and the importance of the western side of the building.

Site number 7

Strike number 7 is the most easterly impact site and is found near the end of the northern runway. The impact is located almost exactly in the middle of four soft aircraft shelters. The post-strike image (taken a few hours after the event) shows V-22 Ospreys and MQ-1 predator drones parked just south of the shelters. The first circular blast pattern has a 15 m radius. The incoming direction of the missile caused the complete destruction of the adjacent shelter just left of the impact point, while the shelter to the right was lightly damaged. If we assume the Iranians were targeting the middle point of the second shelter (taken from left to right) than the accuracy error would be about 18 m. However, it is highly likely that the four soft shelters were targeted as a single unit. If that is the case, then the missile was only 7 m off (accuracy error) from the middle point.

Site number 8

If we assume that the Iranians are not randomly lobbing missiles inside the airbase with CEP errors of 100 to 500 m as some of the so called “think tank” experts presume (or have previously presumed in recent years), then we can assume that site nr. 8 was targeting the taxiway located between the two paved runways as previously shown in Figure 3. In the images below we can see an impact crater hitting the side of the taxiway. The impact is 23 m from the center of the taxiway pavement and we use this distance as a measure of accuracy. A clear circular blast pattern is visible and a directional blast cone indicates the incoming missile direction.

Site number 9

Strike nr. 9 is the second strike on a taxiway and is the most southern impact site situated in a hardened hangar complex. The impact crater is located almost exactly on one of the corner points of a paved T-junction. If the Iranians purposely targeted this exact point, then the accuracy error could possibly be no more than 2 meters. However, if the target was the actual center of the T-junction, then the error is approximately 11 m. Like in site nr. 8, we see a circular blast with a cone like fan shaped pattern giving the incoming missile direction.

Assessment and conclusions

There are different ways to assess the accuracy of these strikes based on the fact that we do not have the exact coordinates the Iranians wanted (intended) to target. It is not very realistic to assume that the Iranians were perfectly able to target the exact coordinates they intended to hit with perfect accuracy. There is however uncertainty in whether the Iranians intentionally missed some of their targets. We say “some” because our observations clearly show a pattern of very accurate strikes on individually targeted buildings/structures. So we have two most likely scenarios:

  1. The Iranians intentionally targeted and destroyed some targets. Accuracy errors occurred causing some missiles to miss the exact center point of their targets, with other targets being completely missed.
  2. The Iranians intentionally destroyed some targets and intentionally missed some others.

I personally believe that the Iranians had no reason to destroy entire series of tents and soft sheltered facilities, causing many injuries according to reports that have come out in recent days, while intentionally missing the taxiways. This would make the first scenario the most likely event.

The table below shows the estimated range in accuracy for each of the 9 strike locations based on our observations and interpretation. The green numbers are the most likely errors in meters, while red numbers indicating the less likely errors based on our assumptions of what the Iranians intended to target. We find an average missile target accuracy of 11 m that is based on what we assume are the most likely intended targets (or in other words the most likely scenario). The statistical spread of this small sample size (of only 9 strikes) is 8.5 m. So the lower and upper limits of the accuracy, based on the standard deviation, is estimated to range between 2.5 and 19.5 m. The median value, which is somewhat comparable to the CEP, is 7 m. This means that half of the strikes landed within 7 m. Finally, the average blast (damage) circle is estimated at 21 m.

So let’s visualize these numbers and assume (a big assumption by the way) that these numbers can be used in circles. The figure below shows a MQ-1 predator drone theoretically being targeted. The yellow line indicates the 11 m mean accuracy value. This is where missiles will land on average. The red line gives the 7 m median value where 50 % of the strikes are found inside this circle. The subsequent figure also includes examples of blast circle (average radius of 21 m) locations in respect to the target.

Assuming our estimation of the intended targets and measurements are realistic, an Iranian missile accuracy ranging on average between 2.5 and 19.5 m is very impressive to say the least and indicates the use of advanced terminal guidance technology (guiding a missile in its terminal phase). Reports have suggested that the Fateh-313 tactical short range ballistic missile (SRBM) was used in the Ayn Al Asad Airbase attack, with other reports suggesting that the Qiam 1 was also used in the attack, including on Erbil Airport. The Fateh-313 is an upgraded Fateh-110, with an increased missile range up to 500 km. Terminally guidance technologies could possibly have been combined, including inertial guidance systems (INS), GPS and possibly electro-optical guidance. Since I am not a military or weapons expert, and my knowledge on sensors is limited to remote sensing for image acquisition, I will leave this part of the assessment to experts like the Saker and his colleagues. I have to say that guiding projectiles traveling at three times the speed of sound within a few meters of their target is pretty amazing if not mind boggling. After all, it is not called “rocket science” for nothing!

The Iranian missile strike: an initial evaluation

The Saker

January 08, 2020

First, as always, a recap.

Turns out that the Iranian strikes were apparently very accurate, check out these photos:

This is interesting, because while I had some US ex-Colonel on idiot-box saying that most Iranian missiles either missed or landed in the desert.  Rah! Rah! Rah!  The US has THE BEST military in the GALAXY!!  We kick these ragheads back to their medieval reality, bla-bla-bla.

The reality is that this has been a very effective “proof of concept demonstration”.  Think like this:  the Iranians have super-accurate coordinates for every single building in the Green Zone.  What impact would you think a determined – non symbolic – missile strike on key US buildings in the Green Zone would have?  How about US forces in Kuwait and/or Saudi Arabia.

Keep in mind that the kind of missiles Iran used is very much an older, less capable, generation.  For example, as far as I know, these missiles have no final guidance capability (you may want to double/triple check this one).  Other ones do (that I am sure of).

Furthermore, it is becoming apparent that Iran had no intention of hitting US personnel, at least not deliberately.  So when the Idiot-in-Chief tweets “so far, so good” he is quite correct, but for all the wrong reasons.

I think of this first strike as a very serious WARNING SHOT which serves two purposes.

First, to show that the “54 targets in Iran” threat is an empty one: Iranians don’t care (for certain) and Pentagon planners probably don’t want it either (most likely).  So besides hot air, the Idiot-in-Chief produced nothing.

Second, to show to those in the US who actually believe their own silly propaganda about the US having THE BEST military in the history of the Galaxy that in terms of missiles, Iran is doing just fine, thank you.

Now, in all fairness, I will ALWAYS welcome ANY gesture which can avoid a massive total war.  There is no doubt in my mind that these events are marking the beginning of the end for the Empire.  The only real question is at what costs to the rest of mankind?  So while he is a narcissistic idiot for sure, and while he wrapped the key part of his statement in all sorts of delusional and dumb chest-thumping and flag waving, I have to admit that Trump did the right thing once again.  Destroying 54 (or even a SINGLE one) Iranian target would have resulted in an Iranian strike on Israel (now we know for sure that it would be an accurate one too!) which would have triggered a massive regional war.  We STILL are not there and while many will call me naive or stupid, I am grateful for ANYTHING which can delay or cancel any major (or even minor) war.  And while I do think that Trump is a narcissistic idiot, I will ALWAYS recognize when he does something either right or even “less bad than what he could have done”.

I will also add this: I consider the US servicemen in Iraq (and the result of the world, for that matter) as guilty of voluntarily signing up to a military which has never and will never fight any just war.  But that is not a sin deserving to be killed in a massive ball of fire, sorry.  In combat, yes, US soldiers are a legitimate target, and legally speaking (from the point of view of the Geneva Conventions and the International Law of War), the targets Iran hit were 100% legitimate since international law does NOT ban collateral damage, it only bans INTENTIONAL collateral damage.  US military personnel are, by definition, legal, legitimate, targets, but on a human level I feel sorry for them and I don’t wish them to pay for the crimes of their commanders (for whom I have ZERO sympathy or compassion).

I am actually quite happy that nobody died in these strikes.

If there were numerous casualties (as some sources report), then I have no problem admitting that this strike was both legal and ethical, but I would feel sad for every killed person (US or Iraqi).

Do the Shia Muslims care about the lives of their enemies?  Yes! They actually do.  Proof?  Just see how Hezbollah treated those Lebanese people who were collaborators with the infamous Israel proxy called the “SLA” (South Lebanon Army) and you will see for yourself.  Have their been Shia executed atrocities in the past? Sure!  Starting in Iraq were various Shia militias committed plenty of horrible atrocities.  But that happens to ANY party to a vicious conflict, and ESPECIALLY a civil war (just look at the butchery the Russian or US civil wars were!).  But the fact is that Shia leaders often emphasize both mercy, compassion and justice (Hassan Nasrallah specifically said that Hezbollah would not target US civilians; contrast that with the Idiot-in-Chief).

So how do we “score” this one?  Who won and who lost”

This all depends on your criteria.

Here are mine: anything which makes it easier for the US to remain in the Middle-East is a victory for the Empire and anything which makes it harder for the US to remain in the Middle-East is a victory for the rest of the planet.

I think that this criteria makes it rather easy to score this latest strike, don’t you?

One more thing: two more rocket strikes seemed to have landed near the Green Zone.  From the (rather minimal) info I have, these were rockets from some kind of MRLS and they were fired by LOCAL Iraqi forces, NOT from Iran.  This is both interesting and telling.  Why?

Because you can expect a dramatic increase in these kind of “hit and run” mini attacks which can’t achieve a real tactical advantage, but which are devastating for morale and which hugely decrease the mobility and ability to operate of the targeted forces.  Again, I invite you to re-apply my criteria above to evaluate the usefulness (or lack thereof) of these strikes.

Singing off for a few hours.  Kind regards

The Saker

PS: one more thing: the Idiot-in-Chief said that “Iran is standing down”.  Just remember that an other no less Idiot-in-Chief announced in 2006 that “Israel had defeated Hezbollah”.  This is an old US trick called “declare victory and leave”.  They have declared victory.  Good.  Now let’s see how long it will take them to get out of Iraq and the Syria and, much further down the road, from the entire Middle-East.

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