However, these losses were too few to stop the VKS and naval aviation from flying well over 39,000 sorties in Syria by mid-2018, shifting the tide of the conflict in Assad’s favor. The tidal wave of nearly one million refugees fleeing a Syrian and VKS air strikes in Idlib is the latest evidence of the service’s handiwork.
Sébastien Roblin holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring.