The Russians started 2006 in Syria with a bang, really big ones. Hours into the new year they launched a series of airstrikes over the country. Proud proclamations were sounded from all quarters with a bold announcement: “A total of 311 sorties have been made over the first days of 2016 during which strikes were delivered at 1,097 facilities,” said Lt. General Sergey Rudskoy, the Russian defence chief. They targeted oil facilities and infrastructure used by Islamic State of Iraq and Sy