MOSCOW — The weather forecast for Syria is cloudy, with a chance of airstrikes.
A Russian forecaster has weighed in on the military effort in Syria, reporting on expected conditions in the war-torn country on national television.
“It is a very opportune time to launch an air force operation,” Yekaterina Grigorova said on Monday on Rossiya-24 state television. “October is a good time for flying in Syria.”
She listed Russian Aerospace Force successes in Syria before reporting on possible meteorological obstacles to sorties, including rains, clouds and sandstorms.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Kremlin has about 50 aircraft in Syria, which have begun flying missions in support of embattled Syrian strongman Bashar Assad on Sept. 30.
The operation has been criticized by the United States and several European countries, who said that Moscow targets moderate enemies of Assad instead of the terrorist group ISIS.
The operation is not very popular at home either: A recent poll showed only 14 percent of Russians approved of military involvement in Syria.
Possibly reacting to public sentiment, Grigorova assured the viewers that “there's every chance of wrapping up the operation in a very short time.”
This is not the first time Rossiya-24 has covered the weather for territories where Russia is reported to be militarily involved.
In January, the channel reported on weather in Debaltsevo in eastern Ukraine, where the Ukrainian army suffered a defeat from pro-Moscow rebels allegedly aided by the Russian military.
“It looks like the weather does not side with the Ukrainian army," an anchor said at the time.