U.S. and coalition forces are likely to increase air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria in coming weeks after a lull in September and October, the head of U.S. Air Forces Central Command said Saturday.

Lieutenant General Charles Brown told reporters at the Dubai International Air Chiefs Conference that the reduction in air strikes was due to weather and to a slowdown in activity on the ground and not due to the start of Russian air strikes in the region.

He said both government forces and insurgents were increasing their ground movements, which could create more opportunities for the United States and its allies to carry out more air strikes against Islamic State targets.

“If they’re not out and about, it’s harder to strike, particularly for an adversary that may wrap themselves in the civilian population,” he said.

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