Air Strikes by VKS & SyAAF, 21 April 2017

A true ‘telegraphic’ overview today, since I’m lacking time for a more in-depth review.

The Russians launched a big wave of 25 fighter-bombers by 01.00hrs, while a single SyAAF Su-24 launched from Tiyas around 01.42 (very unusual time for their operations; this was probably a ‘special purpose mission’, like a strike on certain insurgent HQ detected by ELINT or SIGINT).

Flying continued round 09.00hrs, with VKS launching its Il-20M and a number of UAVs, while the SyAAF launched two Su-22s each from Kweres and Tiyas, two helicopters and a MiG-23 from Hama AB. Nearly all of these targeted the Kfar Zita salient. The SyAAF continued launching additional Su-22s from Kweres and Tiyas, while the VKS flew only sporadic air strikes (2–3 per hour), for the rest of the morning.

At 12.00hrs, the VKS went into action again, simultaneously launching four fighter-bombers from Hmemmem AB. By 13.00hrs, 20 Russian fighter-bombers were airborne, and further take-offs followed. Most of these hit the Kfar Zita salient. The SyAAF initiated its afternoon wave by launching Su-22s from Kweres and Tiyas, and he next Russian wave was flown between 15.00 and 17.00hrs: this included about 20 take-offs (reporting was not particularly precise for this period), most of which resulted in air strikes on Kfar Zita salient, again.

The final big wave of Russian air strikes was run during the early evening, and totalled 36 take-offs from Hmemmem AB by 23.00hrs. Hama managed to launch a total 6 L-39-sorties during the late afternoon and evening.

Totals

VKS

fighter-bombers: 107

helicopters: 2

UAVS: 11

recce: 1

SyAAF

helicopters: 10 (all from Hama, in total of three waves)

L-39s: 6 (all from Hama)

MiG-21s: 0 (quite notable after ‘max effort’ of 4 sorties yesterday)

MiG-23s: 6 (4 from Hama, rest apparently from Dmeyr)

Su-22s: 21

Su-24s: 7