The TASS News Agency reported on 19 April that the Syrian military found two cruise missiles that did not explode during the US-led missile strike of April 14. Both missiles were discovered to be in relatively good shape, and they were handed over to a Russian military officer on April 17.
After this, the missiles were flown to Russia by plane, presumably for analysis. TASS could not confirm this independently with the Russian Defense Ministry at this time.
The known missile types used included the Tomahawk, which is an adept cruise missile, but hardly the cutting-edge technology that was implied by US President Donald Trump in the days prior to the attack. On April 11, President Trump tweeted that Russia should get ready for a missile attack on Syria, saying that the missiles would be “nice and new and smart.”
This news comes along with many reports that point to a very peculiar sort of attack indeed. The general story seems to be resolving around the idea that the weapons used on both sides were NOT the cutting edge technologies that either Russia or the United States have in their arsenals or sell to other countries. The targets appear to be vacant buildings, and the number of casualties reported in the strike remains at zero.
The strike still was quite massive – with 103 missiles fired from several different points surrounding Syria. The mixture of air-to-ground and cruise missiles was reported to be largely stopped by Syrian defense systems, with 71 missiles shot down by these systems. This leaves 32 missiles that are alleged to have reached the ground. If this report is true, then at least two of them did not detonate.
The analysis should be interesting. Here is a nifty “what-if” speculation we might predict:
The missiles found will be found without explosive warheads.
This is just a guess and a prediction, and it may be wrong. But given the reports coming from Russian news media about the scope of damage from the attacks, it is not beyond the reach of reason to suggest this might be the case.
What that could mean is anyone’s guess. A gambit played by President Trump to achieve optics without damage? or just a bit of propaganda to conceal the success of the strikes where that success exists?
This in addition to new reports of British and German chemical and smoke compounds being located in East Ghouta, Syria... the British canisters originating in Salisbury, the town where the Skripals were poisoned, allegedly by a nearly untreatable nerve agent (though both are alive and well with no apparent residual injuries...)
This story grows stranger and stranger by the day.