It is a sunny day in Syria, 'ideal for bombing' says Russian weather forecast
It is a warm and sunny day in Syria - “ideal conditions” for launching airstrikes, according to a weather report on Russian state television.
A female forecaster on the state-owned Rossiya 24 rolling news channel told viewers that Syria’s weather in October was “ideal for carrying out operational sorties.”
Accompanied by a banner reading "flying weather", TV presenter Ekaterina Grigorova (34) straying from the traditional, non-partisan territory of the weather by weighing in on Russia's controversial military action in the Syrian conflict.
“Russian aerospace forces are continuing their operation in Syria. Experts say the timing for it was chosen very well in terms of weather,” said the forecaster in a segment aired on Rossiya 24 on Sunday.
Standing in front of a screen showing a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet, Ms Grigorova continued:
“October in Syria is an advantageous month for flights.
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"In these meteorological conditions, planes can dive below the clouds and conduct effective strikes on ground targets, and only climb higher if there’s active anti-aircraft fire."
The weather forecast then jumped to aerial footage released by the defence ministry showing targets in the Syrian countryside being struck by Russian bombs.
The forecast came after the same channel ran a similarly forecast on Thursday after the first Russian strikes, promising stable meteorological conditions.
It is believed Russia has flown more than 100 sorties over Syria since the beginning of its aerial campaign last week.
Despite heavy criticism from the US and its allies that its airstrikes are weakening rebel groups opposed to Bashar al-Assad’s regime, a key ally of Russia, the Kremlin insists its aircrafts are being directed against Islamic State.
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This is not the first time in recent years that Russia’s weather has gone political.
TV channels began to include Crimea in their forecasts after it was annexed by Moscow in March last year, and in April last year, Rossiva 24 warned of a “wind of change” gathering over eastern Ukraine prior to Russian-backed rebels seizing large parts of the region.