Russia Cuts Military Flights Over Syria by 99%

Defense Minister: Only 2-4 flights happen per week

Another sign that the military operations in Syria are winding down, Russia’s Defense Ministry has reported a vast reduction in the number of military flights carried out over Syrian airspace by their planes in recent weeks, a 99% drop from the war’s peak.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said that Russia was carrying out 100 to 110 flights per day at its peak. Now, they do no more than 2-4 flights per week, chiefly for reconnaissance purposes.

Though most of Syria’s major enemies are already defeated, there are few left to airstrike at this point, with Russia and Syria laying off the Turkey-backed rebels in the far north, and the limited ISIS presence in the east a focus of US airstrikes.

Either way, Russia is clearly dialing back its intervention in Syria, though it is likely to maintain a presence going forward, particularly with the US having committed to a more or less open-ended operation in the country, and Turkey threatening invasions.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.