“US retaliatory airstrikes on targets in Iraq and Syria will not be the last”

The carefully planned raids were the largest yet against Iran’s proxies and are likely to continue until threats to US personnel are neutralised. US retaliation, when it came, was broad and deep, and telegraphed five days in advance.

The White House, the Pentagon and state department had spent the best part of a week talking about the response to Sunday’s drone attack on a US base in northern Jordan, which killed three Americans and wounded more than 30. They warned that retaliation against the suspects, primary among those the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia, would be “multi-tiered” and continue over many days, but when the opening salvo came in the early hours of Saturday Middle Eastern time, it still caused some surprise in its range and scale.

According to US Central Command, 85 targets were hit in seven facilities, four in Syria and three in Iraq, with more than 125 precision munitions, using a mix of drones and long range B1 bombers flying from US territory in a demonstration of the reach of the US air force. “Tonight’s strikes in western Iraq eastern Syria are FAR bigger than any action undertaken before against Iran’s proxies – huge secondary explosions on both sides of the border suggest big rocket/missile depots have been hit,” Charles Lister, senior fellow of the Middle East Institute, said on the social media platform X.

Joe Biden said the targets were facilities used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and “affiliated militia”, and he made clear that it was just the beginning. The full response for the attack on the Tower 22 base would “continue at times and places of our choosing”. The limits of the response were as clear as its scale. As expected, no targets were hit on Iranian territory, and senior administration officials made clear Iran was out of bounds for any future sorties as well.


Comment: This is the beginning of an analysis by Julian Borger, the Guardian’s world affairs editor. From his analysis and the scope of this first wave of attacks shows an administration searching for a path between a strong violent response demanded by damned near everyone in the US and the desire not to initiate a direct war with Iran or put Iran in the position where she feels she must initiate a direct war with the US. 

This was advertised as a multi-day, multi-tiered response so I figured the first night’s strikes weren’t the end of it. I waited all day for the next shoe to fall. Leith hinted that it was about to happen when he told us about the Iranian spy ship raising the hotel alpha pennants and hightailing it to a Chinese port in Djibouti. A few hours later, the news of the next strike hit the airwaves. Either the ship saw it coming or was warned. This is CNN’s brief account:

The US and the United Kingdom have conducted strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen from air and surface platforms — including F/A-18s — on over 30 targets across 13 locations, according to officials. The US and UK carried out the strikes with the support of several other countries, according to a joint statement on Saturday.

“Today’s strike specifically targeted sites associated with the Houthis’ deeply buried weapons storage facilities, missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, and radars,” the statement released by the US, UK, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and New Zealand said. The Houthis said US and UK warplanes struck multiple provinces in Yemen, including the capital of Sanaa.

Two US destroyers fired Tomahawk missiles as part of the strikes, a US official told CNN. The USS Gravely and USS Carney fired the land-attack cruise missiles and F/A-18 fighter jets from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier were also involved, officials said.


Comment: These two series of strikes seem fairly standard to me. I am wondering what Smokin’ Joe Biden meant by calling the complete response multi-tiered. Will it be more strikes by different air platforms or something more imaginative?


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45 Responses to “US retaliatory airstrikes on targets in Iraq and Syria will not be the last”

  1. mcohen says:

    hightailing it to a Chinese port in Djibouti

    That about sums it all up

  2. Barbara Ann says:

    A buildup of air assets for a multi-tiered response would be great cover for the “times and places of our choosing” to suddenly include Lebanon. Whether or not this is part of the plan, the Israeli leadership must see this as a golden opportunity to have Uncle Sam’s help to remove the dagger at their throat. I just can’t believe the current Israeli leadership would miss that opportunity. If and when Iran responds they get destroyed too – a win all round.

    • gordon reed says:

      You call that a win! Haven’t we done enough damage to the area and our reputation since the war on terror began? Karma and blowback are inevitable, you reap what you sow.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      Barbara Ann,
      IMO, it’s up to Lebanon what happens next. If they mind their own business and stand down on fighting Israel, then they won’t suffer an attack. That is true of any country or group in the region. The US isn’t going to unleash on Lebanon just because Israel wants it (assuming that Israel even wants that). That is really insulting to the US that you think we are that subservient, dim witted and belligerent.

      Furthermore, how is Lebanon a “dagger” at Israel’s throat? Do you seriously think (fantasize?) that Hizballah is going to come swarming into Israel and destroy the country and, what?, give it to the Arabs?

      Nope, Lebanon at worst is going to shoot missiles/rockets into Israel – then the US will blast those assets and that would be it. Done.

      All this speculation/war gaming that has Arabs and Iranians as super warrior threats is humorous. They have proven how many times (?) that they are anything but that when facing the US and Israel (and Russia to some extent). The best these people can do amounts to glorified terrorism.

      • Barbara Ann says:

        “IMO a full engagement with all the weight of the rocket and missile forces available to Hizbullah would break Israel’s back both materially and psychologically.” (This was in 2021)

        OK not a dagger, how about “sword of Damocles”?


        • Eric Newhill says:

          Barbara Ann,
          Some people, like Orientalists, have a strong enough affinity for the exotic that it leads them to a greater emphasis on romanticism than on realism.

          IMO, if Hizballah launches a bunch of rockets and missiles, Israel and the US would respond by annihilating the source of the launches. Israel couldn’t crumble even if it wanted to. Where would all of the Israelis go? It’s not like they could surrender to the Muslims.

          So many people with fantasies of Israel being destroyed and Jews dying en masse. I will never understand that deeply ingrained antisemitism.

          I mean don’t like Islam one bit, but I merely shrug -as opposed to being overjoyed – when they actually kill each other in large numbers, like these crazy Houtis/Ansar Allah gunning down other Yemenis and creatin massive starvation conditions on a scope and scale that makes Israel in Gaza look like kindhearted amateurs. Weird how when Muslims kill genocide each other, no one notices, but if Jews or Americans kill a few, it’s a matter for protests, international courts, general angst and a desire for bloody revenge.

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            A lot of Israelis, especially the productive Israelis, maintain passports and plans for relocation. Many will come to the US. The danger to Israel is that those productive Israelis will relocate not for survival reasons, but if life in Israel just becomes too inconvenient. The truly committed, the settlers, will never leave. They will die in place if it comes to that.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Will the Israelis come to America legally, or across the Southern border and claim asylum?

            Seriously, of course, the smart and well-off always have the option of fleeing dangerous conditions. That’s true anywhere. You’ll see Zelensky and some of Ukrainian oligarchs do it too before too long.

            Is the US going to take in 9 million Israeli Jews? Nope. Get real, man. Not all of the Jews who would be stuck in Israel under your/Barbara Ann/Col Lang’s fantasy scenario are settlers. Settlers are maybe 500,ooo. Let’s pretend that as many as 3 million Israelis have the ability to flee to greener/safer pastures. That would leave like 6 million every day Jewish Israelis without the means to go anywhere except to eventual death under Muslim conquest. Seems I’ve heard that number somewhere before, like Deja vu. What is it with antisemitism and killing off 6 million Jews at a time?

            And why would Jews feel safe in Europe or the US? Antisemitism is clearly alive and well and on the rise.

            Here’s another alternative, lay waste to Hizballah’s ability to launch missiles, should they act up, and finish Hamas now – and damn the collateral damage. No one here or anywhere else has convinced me that they are acting from a morally superior position. Everyone just hates Jews and would rather see 6 million more die than a few ten thousand uncivilized Muslims who don’t like anyone except their specific tribe and who won’t behave as members of a global community even if they were handed Israel.

            It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks about the right or wrong because what I describe is what is going to happen, like it or not.

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            Close to 500,000 Israelis already have US passports with a quarter million pending applications. Another 100,000 have German passports. That certainly won’t leave Israel a land bereft of Jews, but it will cripple the hell out of her economy.

            As far as completely ending Hamas military capability, I’m with you on that. I just think they’re wasting a lot of time and capability bombing Gazan civilians. They’d be better off drawing Gazans out of the war zone with food, shelter, medical aid and security. Seems Jordan and Chef José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen could play a part in that. Hamas wouldn’t like that. They’d lose their cover and a major propaganda theme.

        • Stefan says:


          This is where some will say people like the Colonel didnt really know what he was talking about and was so weak that he allowed his personal feelings to outweigh facts in his analysis.

          Aside from being an insult and disrespecting the Colonel, it isnt true. The Colonel never let his personal feelings get in the way of his solid analysis. He isnt here to defend himself so it is a bit low to intimate he was weak and could not be called on for solid analysis because of his personal feelings.

          Whatever his personal feelings the Colonel could always be counted on to provide solid empirical analysis.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Everything you said about Col lang is irrelevant.

            The first question that is matters is whether or not the Houtis/Ansar Allah started a bloody insurrection and in the process have had years of warfare, including street fighting in populated areas, that directly killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis; as well as caused a famine that is further killing off Yemenis in untold numbers.

            The answer to that question by anyone who lives in objective reality is, “yes”.

            Given that answer, the next question, which is the one of interest to me, is why do people that hate Israel for what they are doing in Gaza, not also hate the Houtis/Ansar Allah?

            That is where I called You, Col Lang and others into question on grounds of ethical consistency.

            Responding that Col Lang thought the Zaidi-Yemenis to be fierce warriors is responding to a question that was not even on the table. But, since everyone seems to want to go there, the Imperial Japanese were fierce warriors too. It takes a lot of guts and fierceness to banzai charge straight at a dug in battalion of US Marines. It’s also stupid and losing strategy.

            Anyhow, I suspect the diversionary answer about Zaidi fierceness is an attempt to dodge the original point about how much mayhem, suffering and murder they unleashed on the Yemenis.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            I realize my first reply went off track.

            That said, same applies to Col Lang’s assessment of Hizballah and their rockets/missiles.

            The assessment is that Jews are less committed to Israel than the Muslims are to their cause. Well that is proving, so far, to be objectively wrong. The Oct attacks have galvanized Israeli resolve. That has been demonstrated in a number of recent polls. Support for the Netanyahu government is significantly higher than prior to last Oct. Is there any reason to believe that rockets/missiles from Lebanon would reverse that trend? Especially when the US + Israel can neutralize them? Where is your evidence beyond Col Lang opined that could be that way a few years ago?

            So Stefan, Col Lang opined that it was a good idea to bomb Libya? Was he right about that? Nope. Even he eventually admitted that he was mistaken. He was a man; a great man, deserving of respect, but a man just like the rest of us, with blind spots, predilections, biases and foibles.

            I as never afraid to tell him I disagreed with him if I had thought it through and was convinced. He was usually accepting of differences if they were well reasoned and presented respectfully. He didn’t want parrots kissing his ass. He enjoyed mentoring independent thinkers.

          • Barbara Ann says:


            Anyone suggesting Col. Lang’s analysis was tainted by personal bias is either totally ignorant or has another agenda to push. Mr Newhill’s “Everyone just hates Jews..” can be parsed in a similar way. However, when this is accompanied by the straw man argument that condemnation of Israeli government policy in-the-absence-of-condemnation-of-X-wrongdoer = anti-Semitism, it is clear what we are dealing with. This is chapter 1, page 1 of the Book of Hasbara.

            While such material is published here I’d suggest it is simply ignored.

          • Stefan says:

            You are way off base. I do not support the Houthis today, nor have I ever supported them. My issue all along was trying to get the US to stop supplying the Saudis because these weapons were being used in ways that were against international law and impacting civilians much more than they were degrading the Houthis. Time has born out that line of thinking.

            I condemn the Houthis, always have. I dislike political parties of any sort that use religion as one of their raison d’être, this includes the Houthis as well as the GOP in the US.

            You seem to wrongly assume being against what the Saudis were doing in Yemen somehow made me pro Houthi. Fact of the matter ALL of the actors in Yemen are nefarious to one level or another. But I am not Yemeni. So that concerns me less than US arms being used in an indiscriminate fashion that impacted the civilians of that country much more than any of the waring factions.

            As much as you hate Middle Easterners, despite being from the Middle East yourself, your zero sum beliefs mark you out as the quintessential Middle Easterner. Rather ironic I would say.

          • Stefan says:


            The Colonel provided sound military analysis. Whatever his personal sympathies were he could always be counted on for dispassionate and experienced judgements. His comments on Hizb’Allah and Lebanon fall squarely in that camp.

            I have always found that some people will over compensate to cover up self perceived flaws in their past. Want to talk about Christianity and get a rational discussion? Never go to a former Christian.

            Want sound discussion on the Middle East? Never talk with someone who has described himself and his own family as “wogs”. You wont get rational discourse.

          • English Outsider says:

            Stefan – that was certainly so. But not just that. If you’d formed a judgement solely from open source – which is all those of us outside the loop can do – you could bring it here and see how solid it was. The Colonel was well aware of that. In his profession he was used to hall of mirrors stuff.

            I regret being so strident about Ukraine on his site in what turned out to be the last period of his life. But I was out on my own on an English site at the start of the SMO (“You idiots! Can’t you see how this’ll end up!”) and it would have been disingenuous not to have expressed the same opinion here. Doubt it bothered him. And I think he’d have come round to a different view eventually.

            I sense a lot of people are coming round to a different view now. I believe that’s one, though only one, of the reasons the Russians slow walked the SMO. It took a while for the Chinese and the rest of them to get their heads round Russia rolling its tanks into a neighbouring country. Took a while to understand why.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Barbara Ann & Stefan,
            The theory in question (by me at least) is that Hizballah will fire so many rockets/missiles into Israel, for so long, that the wealthiest/most productive Israelis will flee and, after they flee, Israel will collapse; presumably because the remaining millions of Israelis are too incompetent to keep the country running.

            I find that theory to be highly speculative and questionable.

            Just a couple of questions that immediately come to my mind; Could Hizballah really continue to launch accurate rocket/missile fires into Israel without effective counter battery fires/air strikes putting an end to them? What is the critical mass of Israelis necessary to keep the country functioning? Who/which Israelis? How many Israelis could actually permanently leave if they wanted to? How many rocket/missile strikes to stimulate the flight response? How many rockets/missiles does Hizballah have? What evidence is there to suggest Col Lang’s theory is correct? Is there counter evidence?

            I’m sorry, but Col Lang says so, doesn’t quite cut it in my book

          • Stefan says:


            Before 10/07 I had a rather heated discussion with a Jewish friend of mine. He is a lawyer who studied and works in international law and also is published in political analysis in the region. A rather staunch Zionist with a few tattoos in Hebrew and a large Star of David tattoo to emphasis the point.

            He insisted that nothing of the 2006 war could ever happen again because the IDF and the Israel government had learned their lesson. Never would they be caught off guard again. I called hubris on his point of view and said that not only would 2006 happen again in the future, the events would be worse. At the end of the day we had to agree to disagree. Friends can do that without harming the relationship. Something that seems to be lost in our zero sum, disposalable society. Where friends are generally as easily recycled as our cardboard.

            Come 10/07 my friend is, of course, 100% behind Israel, publishing articles on the subject, generally defending Israel on all possible fronts. I would expect no less from him.

            Outside of the public eye him and I discuss issues and he is VERY concerned that Israel, like with 10/07 has NOT done anything to change any protentional course of events to prevent another 2006, or worse. He has come to the conclusion that some Israeli leaders and the establishment have detached sound analysis with the idea that G*d and the US will save Israel regardless what happens, regardless of what this means for the average Israeli.

            In 2006 Hizb’Allah were able to fire thousands of missiles until the last minute of the conflict. Air power and counter battery action was not able to stem it. Hence sending in IDF forces on the ground to try and stop it.

            This cause a rather catastrophic performance of the IDF ground forces, who were chewed up in a way they had never been before. Certainly not be a non state actor.

            This was before the Syrian “civil” war in which tens of thousands of Hizb’Allah fighters were given years of on the ground combat experience. Hizb’Allah has some 100,000 missiles that can strike every inch of Israel. Gone are the days of Israel being able to evacuate areas along the border. In any new conflict there would be nowhere in Israel that would be safe from Hizb’Allah fire.

            The missiles and arms at their disposal are much more sophisticed than 2006 when they spanked Israeli forces, nearly sinking an Israeli naval vessel. No one, including yourself, has made a convincing argument that things have changed in Israel’s favour. Everything points to the opposite actually.

            Like the Israeli leaders my friend is so concerned about, your comments are LONG in hubris but VERY short in facts proving that anything in Israel has changed that would make any conflict with Hizb’Allah better than 2006.

            You rely on nonsense, hubris and confidence that the wogs (Middle Easterners such as yourself) could not possibly do it twice, much less better than they did in 2006. Of course you have zero skin in the game. You are not an Israeli living in Israel.

            I’d like to see you provide solid facts to disprove the Colonel’s contention, which I feel is as valid as the day he wrote it. Your whole argument is basically that Middle Easterners, such as yourself, are genetically inferior to the Israelis and basically 2006 was a one off that could not possibly be repeated twice, much less be done with greater impact.

            10/07 should have changed people’s thinking. Maybe those dastardly “wogs” in the Middle East are more capable than their genetics would otherwise indicate.

            If nothing else 10/07 should cause pause for people like yourself who are so sure in the genetic superiority of the Israeli people, but it doesnt seem to have this affect on yourself or others. Rather you all are content to stumble themselves into the next catastrophic surprise.

            My Jewish lawyer friend, but interested in facts and not hubris, and is not so confident.

            10/06 you would have denied until you lost your voice that there was NO way that Hamas could have overcome the Gaza fence, destroyed IDF emplacements there, overrun IDF bases and lodge themselves in Israel for days, killing hundreds of IDF soldiers and running amuck for days.

            Yet here we are.

          • Barbara Ann says:


            One very important unknown is whether Bibi actually believes he is holding the keys for the Messiah, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe is said to have told him back in the 1980’s.


          • Eric Newhill says:

            You’ve put a lot of words in my mouth. I never said what you’re trying, most dishonestly, to assign to me. I never said anything about anyone being genetically superior to anyone else. Culturally, yes, but not genetically.

            You appear unable to deal with the rational question – would enough highly competent Israelis flee, under Hizballah rockets/missiles such that the country collapses?

            Regarding Col Lang – Since you pretend to revere him, though hate what I have to contribute, it may be of interest to you that Col Lang granted me write privileges to the old version of the website as well as to this one. He asked me to make contributions. I never had time/freedom of mind to create a worthy piece for the old forum and just after he offered me the same on this version of the forum we had a bit of a falling out over the Ukraine situation (He was for fighting Russia; albeit not including direct conflict between US & Russia – and I considered, and still do, it to be a regional issue that the US should stay out of). I resisted mentioning that previously, but I think it’s too funny to not reveal at this point.

          • Stefan says:


            I never said Israel would collapse. I think it is highly plausible that if things got bad enough that enough people would leave Israel to cause major issues in Israeli culture and economy.

            It might interest you to know that the Colonel asked me to write on the blog…..back in 2017 or 2018. I dont remember but I still have the emails from him concerning the issue. He asked me to write specifically on Yemen but would welcome posts on other issues. I guess he judged me to have enough knowledge and experience on the issues to do the blog proud.

            I never took him up on the issue due to family issues. My mother in law had her third reoccurrence with Leukemia and had a long bout of illness that led to her death and then my wife and I had a daughter, so there just wasnt time between all of that, work and travels.

            Considering the Colonel’s experience in Yemen and the length and depth of his knowledge I considered it a huge compliment. Also to be noted I wrote a comment on learning Arabic in response to a post of his. He then made my comment into a post on the blog itself. Maybe 2015 or so. So I guess that is kind of like being published. Not sure the Colonel ever made a comment into a blog post besides mine. Another thing I took as a compliment.

            Yeah, too funny indeed.

          • Stefan says:

            Turns out my comment that the Colonel made into a thread was in 2007. Sometimes I forget how long I have been reading and commenting on this blog.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            I may vaguely recall the post made from your comment. I have been here since the beginning, but have used a couple of other call signs. Yes, time sure does fly.

            Larry Johnson also reached out and asked if I would like to contribute to his blog once he had departed this one. I almost did, but I felt a little uneasy about his purpose. He sound devolved into anti-American rabble rousing of the cheapest type. Glad I never became involved.

            While we’re clearing things up and hopefully preparing to move forward on a less animosity soaked path, I should clarify that I am 1/2 Middle Eastern (father’s side). My mother was a Yankee Doodle Dandy. Blond and fair. Her side of the family help found this country. In fact, George Washington was an exponent, as were a couple of others who fought in the Revolutionary War. We have deep roots in Virginia. Yes, it was a somewhat schizophrenic upbringing between my mother’s family and my father’s. They divorced over largely over over what could be generally labeled as extreme cultural differences. I do not want to mislead you into thinking I am anything other than what I am, which is kind of a homeless mutt with a mildly interesting and diverse cultural exposure.

          • Stefan says:


            I figured it was your father. It is still uncommon these days for Middle Eastern women, of whatever religious background, to marry outside their culture.

            I was previously married to the daughter of a long standing Saudi military attaché here in the DC area. Many military attaches have a reputation for being “spooks” and I believe my late father in law was the same, of course he never admitted such to anyone. I have never been a fan of the Saudis and the Saudi government and monarchy in particular and often ran my mouth, publicly and privately, which caused some issues with the Embassy here under Prince Bandr and then Adel al Jubair, who replaced him Bandr.

            Back in the day I ran a blog of my own that touched on religion, politics and culture. I remember my then sister in law getting a call from Nail al Jubair, the brother of the Saudi Ambassador and then head of information department at the Embassy, complaining about a post I had made that morning concerning events at the Embassy. So I knew they were watching.

            Her and I later divorced, not based on any culture differences, she was mostly raised in the US and Europe, just personal difference.

            I then married into a well known and influential Yemeni family and continued my work against the Saudis, their spread of religious extremism and their war crimes and misuse of US arms in Yemen.

            I too love cultural differences, travel and learning about different peoples. Marrying between cultures can be difficult. My Yemeni wife was born in London, lived in Yemen until she was 9, has been in the US since then. She likes to say I am more Arab than her. The one thing I like is the benefit of being able to pick and chose what parts of various cultures I have been exposed to and being able to reject others without having to pay the community price that people who actually come from those cultures have to pay.

            As to Virginia, I have been here since 2003. Spent years living and working in England, came back in 2001 and spent a couple of years in Alaska, then came to VA. I love the area, the diversity. I am in the Tyson’s area at the moment.

            Yes, I would be happy if we could move to less “intense” exchanges.

  3. leith says:

    Regarding that Iranian spy ship. I should have given credit to MT Anderson’s twitter account. My bad for not doing so.

    MT was right. I just checked the Marine Traffic website a few minutes ago. The Behshad is at an anchorage just north of that Chinese naval base.

  4. leith says:

    TTG –

    By “multi-tiered” I suspect the response will not just be more airstrikes. In addition: Let loose the cyber hounds maybe? Sic our proxies on their proxies? Stiffen up sanctions? Meanwhile amplifying diplomatic outreach?

  5. Tidewater says:

    First of all, we are now in the Ten Days of Dawn (Fajr) during which Iran celebrates the 1979 revolution. That Iran, a country of 90 million, now produces more engineers than Japan should give them some reason to celebrate. And surprisingly, a lot of their new STEM graduates are women. I follow, off and on, Patarames and Tal Inbar, who are impressive techie guys (maybe on opposing sides) on Twitter/X. I am hopeful that Iran will show off some of their new stuff this week and want to see what Patarames, in particular, will say. Seems to me that Tal Inbar has gotten too big executively for this grubby, scratching-around, analytic game, most of which is nonetheless over my head.

    My point here is that both Patarames and Tal Inbar noticed a new Iranian missile some time back called the Zoheir. Tal Inbar thinks that by the time a Zoheir MaRV warhead reaches the point where interception might be possible by a US Navy SM-2/6 (I think they are all called STANDARD no matter which generation?) from a ship that is on a point defense and backed by an AEGIS system, the incoming will be going Mach 3. It will have gone through an ‘energy bleed’ from Mach 6 due to some jinks and gybing maneuvers, on the way to target. The Standard will reach the point of interception at Mach 3.5 to Mach 4. It can win. But as Patarames sees it, this is “Not a great velocity overmatch for assured interception.” And the Zoheir is not a true glide vehicle. Which are hypersonic. Could come back in at Mach 14? I think the Standard could soon be in for real trouble, no matter how remarkably well the DDGs like USS Carney have been doing thus far.

    Maybe Patarmes is wrong.

    Anyway, this is where it now gets even more interesting. There is no doubt that the Houthis have paid a terrible price for the bombing of their radar installations by air strikes. They should be blinded. They cannot see the ships out there anymore. Right? Maybe not. If a radar system at Djibouti’s Chinese container port of Doraleh–planned to be one of the biggest in Africa–or their military base at Obock–can communicate its information to the Houthis, or a Russian satellite sends the coordinates and azimuths of a ship’s movements to them, or Iranian intelligence can do the same, then the Houthi Zoheir (assuming that they have them, or even for some reason have not yet used them), can go out some three hundred miles to the geographic coordinates, and its optical guidance system will pick up the target. It gets a pix of the ship on something like a TV screen, and it keeps glued to that ship in that screen and it won’t let go. In other words, the fly in the ointment is about access to multiple SENSORS in a time of peace. So it seems likely to me that the Houthies will not be without sensors. And they have a drone that could go out 1600 miles and drop a 116-pound warhead on a ship using the same navigational method, though I assume the drone has an operator.

    This thing is just getting going.

    • leith says:

      Tidewater –

      That carbon fiber composite rocket engine in the Zoheir seems impressive to me. They’ve been going way beyond just reading ‘Car and Driver’ or ‘Popular Mechanics’ and have applied it to a ballistic missile. But it remains to be seen whether it can outmaneuver the Navy’s Standard Missile. Hope it never comes to that.

      Regarding China, they are being hurt much more than the West by the attacks on shipping in the Red Sea. I don’t see any reason (currently) for them to provide radar targeting info to the Houthis. Besides, see the paragraph below:

      Iran may not need Russian satellites for targeting. They have recently launched some of their own satellites in orbit. Two are reportedly for comms, one “research”, and another the Soraya for remote sensing. I would speculate that Iran’s birds are much better than anything that Putin has up there.

      By the way, there are some reports that the Houthis are threatening to cut the undersea cable(s?) that run through the Red Sea. Years ago you warned us about the Russkies doing that. What’s your opinion on the Red Sea cables? How deep are they? Do the Houthis/Iranians have the capability?

      • Tidewater says:


        It’s the undersea fiber optic internet cable system that runs up from the Red Sea to Muscat, Deeb, and Fujaira, or across the Indian Ocean from Karachi, and points East, and then on through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf –that’s what I would consider to be an almost unbelievable vulnerability. I think Iran has the naval and missile capability while blockading the Strait of Hormuz and going about the process inter alia of destroying the desalination plants etc. of the Gulf, of also actually shutting down internet service to ALL of the Arab Gulf countries. That would include internet to US bases such as the NSA, Bahrain; Al Udaid, Qatar; and Jebel Ali, UAE. There is simply no way that I can venture to understand what that would mean. It is simply incredible what could happen, including the evacuation of entire cities. But I think it is fair to seriously consider the possibility of DEFEAT and WORLDWIDE DEPRESSION.

        The Houthis have since said that they don’t intend to cut the cables. There was a hit on the cables off of Alexandria where a ship’s anchor was found at the break. So a fifteen-ton anchor on a 400-foot cable is an inelegant way of doing the trick but could be done, I guess. Or they might design something based on the three-layered carbon steel Santoko (which I desire). Of course, they need to know where to look. I think they would have a lot of trouble doing it, and then there is the question of hurting both friend and foe alike.

        The is something else that bothers me. I can cite at least five important oil ports, such as Mina al Ahmadi, Kuwait, which in the last decade or so have also become LNG terminals. They are all over the Gulf. That’s like putting a hydrogen bomb in your backyard.

        • TTG says:


          That’s one way to put a kibosh on the New World Order.

          For those LNG terminals, the LNG isn’t flammable until it is properly reconstituted. If you don’t regasify it properly, it remains inflammable or at least very difficult to ignite.

          • Tidewater says:

            Some years back I used to spend part of the summer up in Maine at Eastport and Lubec. I made some trips around in the Passamaquoddy region to Canadian islands on these little ten-car ferries which were attached to the side of a small sort of tugboat. I learned that there was a reservation here of a once extremely large Indian nation, the Passamaquoddy, one that I believed to be connected to a nation in Nova Scotia that I had first heard about on a journey up to Cape Breton in ’79 living out of my car for forty days and eating off the salad bar at Sobey’s. (A good trip.) This guy in a Halifax bar was telling me a story about a woman in Newfoundland with whom things had been hot and intense for a long while until something went wrong, and he came to realize that she was trying to kill him. As the story developed I became more and more puzzled, particularly after he added that he damn well knew that the ‘others’ were down with it. Which others? The other women. This didn’t sound like the Canada I had heard about. The Canada of the stunning 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics with that wonderful music and all that international goodwill and hope. (Where did it all go?) Finally, the proverbial lightbulb lit off and I realized he was messing around with a badass Mi’kmaq woman maybe in a settlement off the beaten Newfie track and she was trying to poison him. Frankly, I believed him. He got a little agitated telling the tale of how he escaped.

            Anyway, some years later, in Maine, I heard that there was this problem, an Oklahoma company wanted to build an LNG terminal on Passamaquoddy Bay on some tribal waterfront property. There was litigation that went on for years, decided only around 2018. The courts decided that the LNG regasification plant could not be built, and the decision was based on religion. But that was not what I heard in Eastport. I had been thinking that if you were twenty miles away and the place blew up the blast would be dissipated amongst all those islands, some of which were steep enough to limit the damage. As you have pointed out, there would be the whole issue of regasification. But (as you know) if that leaking slurpie was ever lit off a cloud of burning gas would form over the LNG plant, steadily reaching enormous size and burning hotter and hotter. It would float there at first and would be fed by an umbilical cord of gas from the broken steel containment walls of the one hundred and whatever degrees below zero chamber it had been stored in. If there was a breeze, it would move with it. Of course, it would incinerate everything underneath it in its path. This cloud could go for miles over any kind of terrain below it, igniting further fires. So the plant was canceled.

            I remember that on SST there was a comment made by someone who had been part of a team, possibly Special Forces, who had tested the defenses of the Everett LNG terminal in Massachusetts. So, yeah, I can see how an LNG terminal could be safe here in the US –hard to get at– but I think the Iranians would know how to double-tap, say, the Ruwais LNG facility at Abu Dhabi, with a missile armed with a fifteen hundred pound warhead similar to the Sejjil or Dezful, and hit it later with perhaps simply a flight of drones armed with incendiary warheads. I honestly think that Iran could quite easily blow these LNG terminals wide open and burn down a swathe of the region around them; which could include important military assets, such as, for example, a burning cloud coming from Hidd on Bahrain floating over the NSA or even, possibly, as luck or the wind direction might have it, burning out ships at the long pier there.

          • TTG says:


            I wasn’t even aware of Expo 76. I did get to Expo 67 in Montreal as part of another family vacation. We stayed at a cottage on Lake Champlain. We had a grand time.

            I also believe your story of the Mi’kmaq woman. When I was growing up, I had a few run ins with one of two Huron brothers who were adopted into a local family. Nothing worse than common school yard fights. He was kind of a morose bully. I finally lured him into the woods and wailed on him with some prepositioned stout sticks. No more bullying after that. Years later, my mother told me of a frighten episode. Lorne, the former bully, was doing fine until one day he snapped. He ended up killing most of his adopted family with a tire iron and fire. It was the worst mass murder in modern Connecticut history until Sandy Hook.

            Your plan for the destruction of an LNG terminal is intriguing. I have no idea of it’s feasibility, but who knows. That was my SF team that tested the Everett LNG terminal. We could put it out of action, but we had long discussions with the terminal staff and were assured that any ideas we had about causing a major explosion would not work. But I have to believe the potential is still there.

    • aleksandar says:

      Patamares is seldom wrong

  6. mcohen says:

    Afghanistan = yemen

  7. Eric Newhill says:

    My guess is assess the usual follow-up. Assess damage on target. Anything survive? Go back and hit it again. Any new, similar, targets pop up on the radar? Hit them. Also, ramp up drone patrols. Any Iranian ordnance or personnel moving through rat lines in Syria, Northern Iraq or Yemen will be hit. Certain leadership will be individually targeted.

    Beyond that, really, the ball is in Iran’s court. If they simmer down – and get their tools to do the same – then further US response will be limited to the above. If they are feeling froggy and decide to retaliate with, say, missiles, then missile sites – even in Iran – will be hit. If Iran can get its tools, like the Houtis, to behave themselves, then we’ll leave them alone and they can go back to killing each other for the next ten generations for all we care. If the various tools want to act out more, then their offensive capabilities will be destroyed by whatever means gets the job done. It’s up to Iran first and foremost and their proxies, independently, secondarily.

    The strike shows the world that the Iranians and their proxies are totally impotent – and that the US will respond to their occasional temper tantrums. Iran had to know these strikes were coming, yet they were powerless to avoid them and associated losses. Same will be true of future strikes and everyone knows it. At some point maybe Iranian efforts to ideologically poison the region and to become the leader of Islam, via a hate based political platform, will collapse. It’s great fun to jump around in the streets screaming “Death to Israel!” and “Death to America!”, but sooner or later, now that you’ve got everyone all whooped up, you have to actually do something about it. Getting instantly smacked around by the US, who didn’t even break a sweat in doing so, isn’t a good look for a belligerent leadership.

  8. Gordon Reed says:

    Why did they choose to hit the base in Jordan where the US is there legally rather than hit Al Tanf right next to it in Syria where the US is illegally occupying Syrian territory?

    • Peter Williams says:

      Because they actually hit Al Tanf and Tower 22 is the cover-up.

      • TTG says:

        Peter Williams,

        There aren’t a lot of Americans at al Tanf, but there were hundreds at Tower 22. Those IRGC supported militias have been trying to kill Americans since October.

    • Fred says:


      What is the one thing that Iran can do to trigger a war with the US? Just like the White Helmet operations of old, cross the “red line” and get the usual suspects to demand intervention. Why that would ever be in Iran’s interest is not a question to ask. Nor asking what a false flag op might be, or how controllable “proxies” might be.

  9. F&L says:

    And Biden wins in a walkaway in his Carolina primary. Cause-effect or constant conjunction?

  10. Mark Logan says:

    The multi-tiered stuff could be semi psy-op to keep their dicks in the dirt. If Biden becomes convinced the militias are going to back off there probably will be no more strikes.

    The press is totally convinced these militias are under tight command and control of Tehran, but it’s still plausible to me these militias, including the Houthis, have been doing this for internal reasons. Nothing recruits like a “cause” does, but getting publicly spanked does not help. They might stop. Or at least some of them might.

    • Barbara Ann says:

      Mark Logan

      There probably will be no more strikes if Biden’s approval ratings will suffer from it. He needs enough to pacify the war lobby – and avoid mean tweets from Trump – but no so much as to lead to war with Iran (at least not before November). I expect the DoD has been tasked with implementing a sophisticated, multi-tiered Goldilocks bombing campaign.

  11. Tidewater says:

    Thanks, that is really interesting about the Everett LNG terminal.

    That Lorne J. Acquin case is all over the internet. I had never even heard of it and that is just as well. It does remind me of the Earl Conrad Bramblett case in Vinton, near Roanoke, Virginia, in 1994. I think it could be pretty much the same thing. It’s not exactly a mystery.

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