Navy fedex’s 59 TLAMs to Syria via overnight delivery
It looks like the Navy really plastered Shayrat Airfield in Homs with several flights of Tomahawks from USS Ross (DDG-71) “Fortune Favors Valor” and USS Porter (DDG-78) “Freedom’s Champion” in response to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack April 4 in Khan Sheikhoun.
Both ships are DDG-51s built at Pascagoula in the 1990s, with Ross being an earlier Flight I ship and Porter a Flight II. Both are stationed at Rota as part of a four-DDG force used for forward ballistic missile defense and have been in the news a lot lately for patrols in the Black Sea.
It should be pointed out that the bit below about the strike being coordinated to a degree with the Russians holds water as the TLAMs flew across the Russian S-400 MEZ unscathed. That, or the S-400 is not what its cracked up to be.
From the Navy’s presser:
A total of 59 TLAMs targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars. As always, the U.S. took extraordinary measures to avoid civilian casualties and to comply with the Law of Armed Conflict. Every precaution was taken to execute this strike with minimal risk to personnel at the airfield.
The strike was a proportional response to Assad’s heinous act. Shayrat Airfield was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian air forces. The U.S. intelligence community assesses that aircraft from Shayrat conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4. The strike was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again.
Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line. U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.
We are assessing the results of the strike. Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat Airfield, reducing the Syrian Government’s ability to deliver chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons against innocent people will not be tolerated.