RUS­SIA DID NOT TAR­GET U.S. MIS­SILES

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD - ● Con­tact Bill Gertz on Twit­ter via @Bil­lGertz.

One of the ques­tions be­ing asked in­side the Pen­tagon is why Rus­sia did not at­tempt to shoot down U.S. cruise mis­siles fired dur­ing the re­cent Tom­a­hawk strike on a Syr­ian air­field.

A to­tal of 59 Tom­a­hawk mis­siles were fired on the Shayrat Air Base on April 6, the air­field used by Syr­ian govern­ment jets to con­duct a chem­i­cal weapons at­tack that killed civil­ians.

Rus­sia has de­ployed S-400 and S-300

anti-air­craft and anti-mis­sile sys­tems at the Tar­tus naval sup­ply base and the Kh­meimim air base to pro­tect its forces sup­port­ing the Bashar

As­sad regime.

The S-400s are ca­pa­ble of shoot­ing down a va­ri­ety of mis­siles, and the Tom­a­hawks, fired from the guided mis­sile de­stroyer USS Ross from the Mediter­ranean, passed through the tar­get en­ve­lope of the S-400s, ac­cord­ing to U.S. mil­i­tary of­fi­cials.

How­ever, of­fi­cials said the Rus­sians did not fire at the mis­siles and did not turn on any tar­get­ing radar used by the S-400s dur­ing the U.S. strike, something that could have re­vealed the sys­tem’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Asked about the is­sue, Cen­tral Com­mand spokesman Air Force Col. John J. Thomas said: “We told the Rus­sians a short time in ad­vance we were go­ing to strike. What they did or didn’t do with that in­for­ma­tion — or what their range, ca­pa­bil­i­ties and in­tent are — is something you’d have to ask them.”

Rus­sia did not say why it didn’t shoot at the Tom­a­hawks, but Moscow com­plained that the at­tack dis­rupted U.S.-Rus­sian re­la­tions.

Moscow tem­po­rar­ily shut down a com­mu­ni­ca­tions chan­nel with the Pen­tagon used to avoid con­flicts by Rus­sian and U.S. air­craft over Syria af­ter the strike.

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