(South Front) The Russian Aerospace Forces have conducted 19,160 sorties and delivered over 71,000 airstrikes since the start of the operation in Syria, Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov said on Tuesday.

“Since the start of the operation, our aviation has performed 19,160 sorties and delivered over 71,000 strikes against terrorists’ infrastructure. Our aviation targeted militants’ training camps, ammunitions factories and workshops, and also illegal oil extraction facilities of terrorists of ISIL,” Gerasimov announced.

According to the statement, Russian warplanes “destroyed more than 200 such objectives, 174 oil refineries and 111 oil tank convoys.”

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Gerasimov empasized that “this helped both disrupt the system of ISIL illegal armed formations’ supply and deprive them of their basic source of revenues.”

With the support of the Russian airpower, government forces have liberated 12,360 square kilometers of the Syrian territory and 499 communities since September 30, 2015, the chief of the General Staff said.

“Over this period, large illegal armed formations were routed near Hama and Homs. The province of Latakia has been freed from militants, the liberation of Damascus suburbs is nearing completion and the basic transport artery linking the capital with the country’s north has been unblocked. The cities of Aleppo and Al-Karyatein that are of key significance have been liberated,” Gerasimov said.

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  1. For around 510 days in, it gives us an average of 37 sorties a day, each plane striking 3.7 target per sorties…
    When you consider the strategy I have talked about which is to use 130 cheap propeller COIN aircraft being able to loiter for 8 hours, strike around a hundred targets per flight and create a 24/7 10,000 km² interdiction zone while the boots cleanse the area… Propeller aircraft cost the tenth jetfighter do, their flying hour price is between 500-1000$ while jets cost from 16.5k$ for A-10/Rafale, 23-24k$ for F-16/F-18, 44k$ for F-15 and 60-70k$ for F-22 while a B-52 cost is 76k$/hour. The cost of a LGB is 15k$, a JDAM is 25k$, a SDB is 100k$ and a Hellfire missile 110k$ while a Hydra70 rocket is 2k3$ and a guidance kit like LOGIR as low as 5k$ and such rockers are carried in pods of 19… 6 Pods of guided rockets under the wings of a propeller aircraft = 114 strikes! Well, OK, there would be for 832k$ of rockets, thus, this is cheaper than 8 Hellfires and these would cost about half the price per unit of TOW ATGMs…
    Moreover, you need much less trained pilots for propellers than for jets : it takes 3 years studies for a jet fighter. 45-50 flying hours may be enough for a small prop and consider 25 more for night flies… In intensive learning context, you can field such pilots in what? 3 months? WW2 Spitfire pilots had sometimes les than 20 hours flight before seeing combat!

    Even if Russia makes a little more sorties than coalition, in BOTH cases it’s FAR to be enough. Strategies against asymmetric warfare shall be revised : the use of gear made clearly for a coldwar getting hot context is definitively not adapted for such kind of warfare and definitively not cost-effective at all.
    As long as serious decisions about air-support strategies won’t be made, it’ll take years to cleanse a country from terrorists and imply many casualties, especially as terrorists use civilians as human shields. The longer it lasts, the more people suffer and the more the coasts become tremendous while if better strategies and cost effective gear were considered, it’d only take a few months nonetheless o solve the problems in Syria+Iraq but so would it be for Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Egypt, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Algeria, etc etc etc…
    Actually, it’s sad that militaries are too conservatives and go on with outdated tactics while asymmetric warfare has showed itself more creative and is very cost effective, especially with fanatical morons that blow themselves for free : road-missiles with a worthless idiot instead of a costly guidance system is the best bang for the buck… Just think about the WW2 Japanese “cruise missile” :
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Japanese_Ohka_rocket_plane.jpg
    It was the same as the Von Braun doctrine who wasn’t into having NASA using costly computers in rockets : the old SS didn’t gave a fuck about human life and considered it was cheaper to sacrifice humans… Thus, when you consider the price of Global Hawk or Gray Eagle drones comparing to propeller piloted COIN aircraft…