The most likely area of operations for new KSA support of the Syrian civil war would be within Northeastern districts of the country. The defacto administration of that section of Syria is the Kurdish-oriented govt known as the “Democratic Federation of Northern Syria”. This move by Saudi Arabia has some potential due to the US-backed SDF (Syrian democratic forces, also the official defense force of the Kurdish-centered govt in Syria) being outfitted as pro-western secular opposition to the Syrian govt. The formerly western-backed FSA (Free Syrian army) lost support from the US and the rest of the west due to their growing illegitimacy, this was caused by Islamist radicalisation within their ranks. The SDF doesn’t have as much negative baggage attached to their history, this means the international community would gain what’s recognized as a credible fighting force within Syria to oppose Assad. In-turn the Kurdish govt views Saudi Arabia in a positive light. For example it was Ilham Ehmed who is the Co-Chairman of the Syrian Democratic Council (the political wing of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces) stated back in October of 2017 that “Saudi Arabia is an important country it must play its role in promoting stability in Syria and we are ready to cooperate with it.”
Recently there’s been a disparity of interests between the YPG branch of the SDF and the US Coalition. The US may sever their support of the YPG to appease Turkey and sacrifice a greater fraction of Syria’s future territorial integrity. They may be expecting Turkey to conflict with the interests of the US-Coalition so long as YPG support remains. The Turks have been using the pretext of YPG affiliation with the PKK (The Kurdistan Workers Party, a terrorist organisation as designated by NATO ) in order to intervene within Syria. The recent creation of the Raqqa military council by the SNA (Turkish-backed Syrian National army of the FSA) with the aim to expel the YPG from the Raqqa governate is evidence of this.
Saudi Arabia will predictably support an Arab majority branch of the SDF designated as the Deir ez-Zor Military Council. The grim reality is that they are known to have questionable Islamist ideologies and to have been recruited from members of former FSA, al-qaeda and ISIS units. The most notable example would be their very own commanding officer, General Commander Rashid Abu Khawla who has a colourful past of running a criminal outfit that ran extortion checkpoints throughout Deir Ezzore in the earlier stages of the war before they pledged their allegiance to ISIS. Although ISIS initially allowed them to maintain their checkpoints Abu kwala and his men eventually fled Deir Ezzore for Al-Hasakah, startled by the excecution of Kwala’s brother Ata Allah on the charges of rape and bribery. Kwala would later move to Tel Abyad in Turkey before reappearing in Syria as the commander of the newly formed Deir Ezzor Military Council.
It remains to be seen whether or not Saudi Arabia will neglect to support the YPG. This would present Saudi Arabian defacto consent to present-day Turkey’s judiciary methods of militarily imposed disciplinary actions towards PKK affiliated organizations.
Over the past week, American MSM has been shilling the missile attack. Leftists are beside themselves with joy. In fact the common sentiment among the media is “Trump is not doing enough war”. Why are they shilling so hard for a massive failure of an attack that resulted in a 70% missile interception rate? In fact, this is the first time in history a nation has had such massive success defending itself from modern missiles with only cold war era air-defense.
Unfortunately, blatant lies are what the news media does best. Headlines reading along the lines of “Syrian air defense firing blind”, “Evil Assad crippled”, “100% missile accuracy”, “Zero interceptions” It is clear MSM wants war and destruction. By brainwashing the public into believing the missile attack was a success, they are attempting to drum up support for intervention. Even though videos all over YouTube show dozens upon dozens of missiles intercepted
The conflicting reports between Russia and the United States are causing much confusion. Were 71 missiles intercepted or none at all? Well lets break it down. According to SouthFront, only S-125, S-200, Buk, Kvadrat and Osa missile systems were used to intercept the missile attack. These missile systems are cold war era and range from bad to hopeless. How is it possible that 71 missiles were intercepted? These missile systems should only have been able to destroy roughly 15% of the incoming missiles. The SyADF does not have the capability to intercept such a number of missiles simultaneously in one striking wave.
So how did so many missiles get intercepted? The answer lies in Russia’s electronic warfare (EW) systems. Russia has Krasukha-4 EW systems in Syria. The Krasukha is able to jam airborne radars, such as radar guided missiles at ranges of up to 250 kilometers. The missiles, once jammed, are then provided a false target away from the original to ensure that the missiles are no longer a threat.
For most of the flight path, guidance for the Tomahawk and Storm Shadow cruise missiles is provided by GPS. However, in the final phase, the missiles begin using their internal guidance system. During this phase of the flight path the missiles are vulnerable for EW counter-measures. The missiles impacted by EW systems start to steer off. The missiles’ speed significantly reduces and they become an easy target for air defense systems or fall.
So what was the purpose of this missile attack? The answer lies in the USA’s state of the art JASSM-ER missile. Weighing in at a whopping 1.4 million USD, this is the first time JASSM-ER missiles have been used in an attack. JASSM-ER is the first missile to carry the Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) payload. CHAMP is an electronic warfare technology that fries electronic equipment with bursts of high-power microwave energy, non-kinetically destroying them.
It is likely that the missile attack on Syria was done for the purpose of testing JASSM-ER and CHAMP against Syria’s air defense systems (SyADF) and Russian Krasuka-4s while comparing it to Tomahawk and Storm Shadow missiles. No one knows for sure weather or not JASSM-ER and CHAMP have proven successful in countering Russian electronic warfare systems, as that information is undoubtedly top secret classified. But it brings up an interesting question about the future of smart missiles and EW technology. In the event of a nuclear launch, such EW systems could be used to destroy missiles before they reach their intended target.