Air Strikes by VKS & SyAAF, 11 April 2017
I’m extremely short on time these days, but I’ll try to continue providing overviews of flying activity as usually — even though probably in rather telegraphic fashion — and with interruptions, time and again.
A total of 20 VKS air strikes and 3 L-39 strikes hit the areas of Jishr ash-Shughour, Darat Azza and Ma’arat an-Nauman between 00.00 and 03.45hrs. Nearly all of these saw deployment of RBK-500s filled with termite.
The VKS continued with one wave of 5 strikes at 07.20–07.25, then another of 5 strikes at 08.15–08.40, and 3 helicopters that attacked the Jishr ash-Shughour area around 08.45. A single MiG-23BN lifted off Dmeyr at 09.51, and then there was a break of nearly one hour, until a MiG-21 launched from Hama, at 10.32.
Around the same time, the Russians began launching their next wave. This was a true ‘mega’ wave: just going on, and on and on, with new takes offs past 12.00hrs, then past 13.00hrs… it ended around 13.20, by when at least 57 take-offs from Hmemmem were registered. The list of places hit is going to take long to collect…
The SyAAF was hardly to be seen that morning and launched absolutely nothing from Shayrat. Just one L-39 and three Su-22 from Kweres, between 12.00 and 13.15hrs. To make sure: at least two of these Su-22s didn’t bomb Daesh in eastern Aleppo, but appeared over the Sarqib area, few minutes later.
Two MiG-23s then launched from Hama, and it was only at 13.26 that the take-off of the first Su-22 from Shayrat was registered. This was followed by another at 13.33, one from Tiyas, and two from Dmeyr, a few minutes later. At least one, perhaps two of these bombed something in the Talbiseh area, shortly after.
At 13.50, the VKS commenced launching its next wave. This lasted until around 17.00hrs, and included 35 take-offs from Hmemmem. During the same time, also a transport or the Il-20M recce aircraft took-off from there (the source is uncertain).
Meanwhile, at 14.50, there was more activity from Shayrat — all involving Su-22s (seems that all the MiG-23s of ‘Ba’ath Squadron 675' that used to be there before the US strike have been destroyed: not one of them took off ever again). One took off at 14.55, another at 14.57, and one more at 15.09. That’s the ‘the usual three’, on their second sortie that day. Two additional examples launched from Tiyas by 15.30hrs — and all attacked targets in southern Idlib and northern Hama.
Around 17.00hrs, the VKS commenced launching its evening wave. This included 20 take-offs that took place by 24.00hrs. Rather surprisingly, L-39s of the SyAAF weren’t active that evening.
fighter-bombers: 142 (I can hardly believe this figure, but I’ve re-checked it two times)
MiG-21: 4 (all from Hama)
MiG-23: 6 (all from Dmeyr)
Su-22: 13 (6 from Shayrat)