"Bunker buster" cruise missile launched from F-15 in a live firing exercise
Last night "bunker buster" bombs-which don't explode on contact but burrow deep within the earth then detonate-hit a Syrian army base north of the city of Homs killing upwards of 20 Syrian Arab Army soldiers as well as Iranian troops among them.
No country has claimed responsibility for the attack though Israel and the US have those weapons. Paul Craig Roberts believes it was US/Israel collaboration. I agree with his assessment.
It is hard to imagine the Russian military in Syria with their advanced long range radar systems plus satellites in space not knowing where the strikes originated from. Yet to this point neither the Russian's, the Syrian government of Bashar Assad or the Iranians are publically issuing any comment.
But make no mistake the use of "bunker buster" bombs in Syria is an escalation in the Syrian conflict. It ups the ante and puts Russia and President Vladimir Putin on the spot whether Russia will deliver the S-300 ABM missile to the Assad government capable of intercepting planes that launch "bunker buster" bombs. Up to now the Russian's have said they are only "considering" sending the S-300.
However with this escalation Putin must calculate what his next move will be in supporting the Assad Syrian government, its Iranian and Hezbollah allies.
It's been clear the Russian military and the US military operating in Syria want no direct confrontation with the other. It's why a de-confliction zone was established between the two militaries to avoid direct conflict.
There is no such agreement with the Israeli's who have occasionally sent missiles attacking the Syrian Arab Army, suspected military supplies going to Hezbollah as well as Iranian military positions in Syria.
Israel is particularly paranoid about the Iranian presence in Syria. Although Hezbollah is a close second.
Putin supposedly has a positive diplomatic relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It's time for Putin to lay the cards on the table and tell Bibi Israel can't continue being a belligerent in Syria, attacking Assad's forces, the Iranians or Hezbollah with bombs and missiles in Syria.
Putin, I believe is capable of getting Netanyahu's attention and sending the S-300 to Assad will do the trick preventing Bibi from launching any new aerial attacks into Syria.
Of course Putin dealing directly with Netanyahu is indirectly talking with Trump telling the "Donald" escalating the Syrian conflict by coordinating with the Israeli's sending "bunker busters" into Syria will have consequences leading to a hot war with Russia.
A hot war with Russia is the US militaries worst nightmare.
Let's face it Putin's speech on March 1, 2018 to the Russian Duma describing the advanced nuclear and hypersonic capability of the Russian military was the game changer. The last thing the American military wants is to tangle directly with the Russians.
That fact came directly into play when the US, Britain and France launched 105 missiles attacking supposed chemical weapons facilities attributed to Assad's government in response to him allegedly gassing his own people a week earlier in the Ghouda area outside Damascus. Those missiles scrupulously avoided any Russian military in Syria. In fact it was later learned the US military contacted the Russian military in Syria before launching the missiles saying Russian facilities would not be attacked.