Saturday, February 24, 2024

The precision of Iranian missile strikes is debated

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Iranian missile strikes on the bases of Al Asad and Idlib in retaliation for the drone attack which cost the life of the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, General Souleimani, did not cause any casualties according to the authorities American, Iraqi and even French. According to corroborating information, Tehran would have informed the Iraqi Prime Minister, Adel Abdel-Mehdi, of the imminence of the strikes two hours before they took place, as well as the targeted targets, so as to allow the forces present to 'remove. By doing so, Tehran created a context favorable to de-escalation, which was quickly seized by President Trump. If we can only be satisfied with this conclusion, two important observations appeared alongside these strikes:

Why were US missile defenses unable to stop the attack?

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Since the tensions of the summer of 2019 following the unclaimed attack on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf , attacks attributed by the West to the naval forces of the Revolutionary Guards, the United States has repeatedly announced the deployment of new batteries of anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems in the Middle East to protect American interests there. Similarly, new batteries were deployed following the drone and cruise missile attack on Saudi oil port facilities in the fall, again attributed to Iran.

However, it seems that the Iranian strikes were hardly hampered by the American anti-missile defense, since we see a significant number of impacts on the satellite photos published following the attack on the bases in Iraq. Two hypotheses emerge from these findings: either the Patriot PAC anti-missile defense systems did not succeed in intercepting the Iranian missiles, or they were not present. In the latter case, one would be entitled to wonder why the most important base housing American and allied forces in Iraq was not protected against this type of attack, when tensions were at their highest in the region , and that the risks of attack by ballistic or cruise missiles were obviously very high.

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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