Friday, January 8, 2016

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: December 28, 2015 - January 7, 2016

By Genevieve Casagrande and Jodi Brignola 

Key Takeaway: The tempo of Russian air operations slowed considerably from January 4 - 7.  ISW was only able to confirm 17 locations of Russian airstrikes during the reporting period, the lowest volume of Russian strikes since early October 2015. The cause of this decrease currently remains unclear; as the lull may have been caused by changing weather conditions, shifts in Russian posturing inside Syria, or deferred maintenance activities following several weeks of heavy Russian airstrikes.  

The following graphic depicts ISW’s assessment of Russian airstrike locations based on reports from local Syrian activist networks, Syrian state-run media, and statements by Russian and Western officials. This map represents locations targeted by Russia’s air campaign, rather than the number of individual strikes or sorties. 

High-Confidence reporting. ISW places high confidence in reports corroborated both by official government statements reported through credible channels and documentation from rebel factions or activist networks on the ground in Syria deemed to be credible. 

Low-Confidence reporting. ISW places low confidence in secondary sources that have not been confirmed or sources deemed likely to contain disinformation.