Russian Military in Syria

A Russian combat aircraft at Khmeimim airbase in Syria being prepared for action. (Russian Ministry of Defence)

Belligerent
Russian military
Country
Syria
start date
end date
Airwars Grading
Contested
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

R3883

Incident date

Location

معرة النعمان, Ma’arat Al Nu’man, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

One civilian was killed in an explosion of remnants of an unexploded cluster bomb, that was dropped earlier by alleged Russian and/or Syrian regime warplanes in the city of Ma’aret Al Numan, on October 20th, as reported by several local sources. It is unclear when the bomb was dropped.

Justice Organisation identified the man as Najm Deep Al Asfar (Abu Diab) and stated on Facebook that the incident occurred in the southern neighbourhood of the city.

The Syrian Network of Human Rights commented on the incident by stating on Facebook that they have previously highlighted that remnants of weapons pose a threat to civilians and that special equipment is needed to help civilians remove explosive remnants.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The body of Najm Deeb Al Asfar, who was killed in an explosion of remnants of a cluster bomb on October 20th, 2019, that was left earlier in an alleged Russian and/or Syrian regime airstrike on Ma’arat Al Nu’man (via Justice Organisation on Facebook).
  • Photo of Najm Deeb Al Asfar, who was killed in an explosion of remnants of a cluster bomb on October 20th, 2019, that was left earlier in an alleged Russian and/or Syrian regime airstrike on Ma’arat Al Nu’man (via SNHR on Facebook).

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R3970

Incident date

Location

بلدة تل كرسيان, Tal Karseean, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were reported killed in an alleged Russian forces or Syrian regime airstrike on Tal Karseean in Idlib – Syria on December 1st, 2019 according to local sources.

According to Syrian Network for Human Rights, Ibrahim Mohammad al Hussein and Sayyed Hasan al Hussein were killed in the attack.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Civil Defense moving casualties from an alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrike on Tal Karseean in Idlib. (via SN4HR)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS010

Incident date

October 2, 2015

Location

دير حافر‎, Dayr Hafir, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.151494, 37.707842 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Six civilians including three children were reported killed in alleged Russian airstrikes on Dayr Hafer. According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, ten civilians were also injured when the attack struck the local market. Al Jazeera placed the death toll at 25 while Shaam Network said that 20 were killed.

There were some local claims the attacks were the work of the Syrian regime, and not Russia.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 25
  • (3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Al Aan TV reports unspecified raids on a market in Dayr Hafir having killed at least 20 civilians. An activist being interviewed blames the regime. (via Al Aan TV)
  • Tweet by an activist alleges that there are 103 dead in Russian raids on the countryside of Aleppo: 80 martyrs in the city of al Bab 20 martyrs in Dayr Hafir and two martyrs in Tadif. (via hatem_6868)
  • Tweet by Hamza AlHairi Free Syrian army says that 20 people were killed in Dayr Hafir following alleged regime raids on a local market. (via Hamza AlHairi)
  • Tweet by Azaz Media alleges Regime warplanes were the ones to commit 'a terrible massacre' in Dayr Hafir. (via Azaz Media)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

The Kremlin made no direct mention of strikes on Dayr Hafer for October 2nd-3rd 2015, although did note other attacks in Idlib governorate: “On October 2, in the course of the day, the Russian air grouping continued making pinpoint strikes at the “Islamic State” international terrorist grouping. Su-34, Su-24M and Su-25 aircraft carried out 14 sorties from the Hmeymim air base attacking 6 ISIS objects. At Maarrat Al-Nuuman (Idlib), Su-25 attack aircraft completely destroyed a large workshop aimed for production of bombs and improvised explosive devices and disguised as a plant for gas cylinders.Terrorist base for armament and military equipment was also eliminated. As a result of an air strike, over ten pieces of military hardware including infantry fighting vehicles were burnt down…

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 25
  • (3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS008

Incident date

October 2, 2015

Location

الباب, Al-Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.371972, 37.51631 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

At least 19 civilians and as many as 80 – including children and women – were reported killed in alleged Russian airstrikes on Al Bab.

According to al Jazeera – which placed the death toll as high as 80 with 200 injured – the attacks were carried out by helicopters, most likely Russian Hind-24 gunships. According to the Syrian Network, the town’s vegetable market was hit. Shaam Times placed the civilian death toll at 50.

The city had regularly been targeted by both Assad regime and international Coalition airstrikes, and on October 2nd there were also reports of Assad regime aircraft carrying out other strikes on the city. Enabbaladi reported that “nearly 15 air strikes targeted al Jabal Hospital, and the areas surrounding the Mosque Osama bin Zaid, and Adassat Alzaleq. Also hit were the top of Albugzal street from the eastern end of the city and the Great Mosque and the Mosque of Omar ibn al-Khattab, in addition to the surrounding Association picnic area.“

Enabbaladi also said that Russian Sukhoi aircraft may have targeted the nearby town of Tadeef three times “killing several civilians and wounding others.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    19 – 80
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    200
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

The Kremlin made no mention of strikes on al Bab for October 2nd-3rd 2015, although did note other attacks in Idlib governorate: “On October 2, in the course of the day, the Russian air grouping continued making pinpoint strikes at the “Islamic State” international terrorist grouping. Su-34, Su-24M and Su-25 aircraft carried out 14 sorties from the Hmeymim air base attacking 6 ISIS objects. At Maarrat Al-Nuuman (Idlib), Su-25 attack aircraft completely destroyed a large workshop aimed for production of bombs and improvised explosive devices and disguised as a plant for gas cylinders.Terrorist base for armament and military equipment was also eliminated. As a result of an air strike, over ten pieces of military hardware including infantry fighting vehicles were burnt down…

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    19 – 80
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    200
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS015

Incident date

October 3, 2015

Location

عقيربات, Akeerbat, Hama, Syria

Geolocation

35.041132, 37.463935 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A reported airstrike on the sheep market at Akeerbat village killed six civilians, including a child. While some blamed Russia, others such as the Syrian Network initially held the Syrian regime responsible.

Five victims were later named.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Zakaria Mamdouh Innad Al Jarro Child male killed
  • Hassan Al Ahmad Adult male From the village of Tahmaz killed
  • Ayoub Hassan Al Ahmad Adult male From the village of Tahmaz killed
  • Izzedine Al Ali Al Sheikh Adult male From the village of Soha killed
  • Fawaz Al Ghazi Adult male From the village of Dakila killed

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (1 child4 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (1 child4 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS014

Incident date

October 3, 2015

Location

عقرب, Akrab, Hama, Syria

Geolocation

35.1631, 36.46512 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

The Syrian Network reported that Russian warplanes attacked Akrab, a town under the control of the Free Syrian Army, in a joint attack with the Assad regime. All4Syria also reported that “regime forces tried to storm the town, in southern Hama, after several raids by Russian aviation, resulting in several casualties among civilians.“

Two rockets, which SN4HR said contained cluster bombs (pictured below), reportedly killed two civilians including a child: “Four cluster bombs were left un-exploded and the FSA dismantled them by shooting from a very long range. The Russian aerial strikes were accompanied with shelling from rocket launchers by the Syrian regime.”

The incident occured at 1:30 pm local time.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Cluster munitions reportedly retrieved from Akrab, October 3rd 2015 (via SN4HR)
  • The Civil Defence transporting the injured. (via SN4HR)
  • Rescue workers at Akrab. (via SN4HR)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

The Russians made no direct reference to strikes in Hama for October 3rd-5th 2015, noting only that “Su-34, Su-24M and Su-25 pilots performed 20 flights over the last day. They hit 10 ISIS facilities.”

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS017

Incident date

October 4, 2015

Location

غرناطة, Gharnata, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.8937633, 36.6794443 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were reported killed following an airstrike on Gharnata near Talbiseh city, in Homs governorate.

While some sources attributed the attack to Russian aircraft, the Assad regime also reported carrying out strikes in the vicinity, with state news agency SANA reporting that “the Air Force destroyed nests and mechanisms for terrorist organizations… in the countryside of Homs.” Smart News said the attack was carried out by regime helicopters dropping barrel bombs.

VDC and Talbiseh News both reported that a shepherd was killed at Gharnata on October 4th “due to Russian forces shelling.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Footage showing the body of the victim Ahmad al Musa killed in the strike on Gharnata, October 4th 2015. (via, Talibisah News)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

The Kremlin made no mention of strikes in Homs governorate between October 3rd-5th 2015.

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS020 CS133

Incident date

October 6, 2015

Location

عندان, Anadan, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.29353, 37.04466 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Two children and a 46 year old male were reported killed during four alleged Russian strikes in the evening on Anadan. Another man was also named as a victim by VDC. Eyewitnesses described at least one secondary, or ‘double tap’ strike.

A local medic told Qassioun: “Between the afternoon and evening Russian planes carried out intensive raids on areas in the northern Aleppo countryside which led to dozens of injured and three deaths. One of the martyrs is a ten year old boy, a young man of 17 years old and a 40 year old man. The injuries are very serious.”

Smart TV showed footage of Russian aircraft which it said was filmed near Aleppo: “Spotted at 17:30 in the evening, for the first time, one of the Russian planes in the sky of the city of Aleppo on their way to carry out raids on the villages and towns of the countryside.”

And Ibrahim Kharfan, a rebel in the town, insisted only civilian areas were being targeted: “The Russians are claiming, along with the regime and all those supporting this rotten regime they are claiming they are targeting [military] bases. We are here in Anadan and everything you see here is civilian houses. All the bombing now is being directed at civilians’ houses.”

While there was near consensus that Russia was responsible, VDC continues to list both boys as having been killed in a US-led Coalition strike.

 

The incident occured at 5:30 pm local time.

  • Mohammad Amin al-Sageer Adult male He was 46 years old and VDC says he was killed due to Russian strikes killed
  • Amin al-Sageer Adult male killed
  • Abd al-Rahman al-Sageer Child male He was 10 years old and VDC says he was killed due to coalition shelling killed
  • Ahmad Othman Hamidi Child male He was 17 years old and VDC says he was killed due to coalition shelling killed

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, US-led Coalition

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • A video reporting four alleged Russian raids on the town of Anadan on, 6th October 2015. (via, The Syrian Civil Defence)
  • Footage reporting that Russian planes targeted Anadan in Aleppo for the first time, 6th October 2015. (via Arabs in Turkey)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The body of one of the children, Abed Al Rahman al Sageer, killed in the raid on Anadan, 6th October 2015. (via, VDC)
  • News bulletin reporting that 4 Russian raids on Anadan had caused deaths and injuries. One eyewitness reports that two brothers were killed in the raid. [Via: Al Aan news]

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

Although Russia reported 20 combat sorties for October 6th 2015, no reference was made to strikes in Aleppo governorate. The Russian MoD also intimated that opposition forces were faking reports of civilian casualties: “It cannot be ruled out that now terrorists are intentionally preparing acts of provocation such as detonation of mosques in order to demonstrate fake photos and videos to indict the Russian aviation.”

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, US-led Coalition

Sources (11) [ collapse]