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
Discounted
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

RS306

Incident date

December 23, 2015

Location

أريحا, Ariha, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.81374, 36.60964 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

One adult male, Mahmoud Sonae also known as Abo Mehyo of Ariha, was reported killed in an alleged Russian airstrike, according to the Violations Documentation Center.

Mr Sonae was caught in a major airstrike on Idlib on December 20th, and appears to have died of his injuries three days later.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • An image provided by the VDC possibly of the burial of Mahmoud Sonae. (via, VDC)
  • Another image provided by the VDC. (via, VDC)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

For December 18th-23rd, Russia reported that “In the course of five days, on December 18-23, aircraft of the Aerospace Forces in the Syrian Arab Republic have performed 302 combat sorties engaging 1093 objects in the Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Homs and Deir ez-Zor provinces.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS040

Incident date

October 14, 2015

Location

تحتايا, Tahtaya, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.5105879, 36.7138624 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Two non-combatant males were killed in an alleged Russian strike on Tahtaya and were later named by the Violations and Documentation Centre.

Syrian regime aircraft also reportedly bombed the town the day before, killing a woman and her daughter.

However according to Qasioun – which posted a video of the attack – the event was the work of Syrian regime aircraft which used a barrel bomb and exploding gas cylinders.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ 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

Russia has confirmed carrying out airstrikes in Idlib for October 14th-15th 2015: “The Russian aircraft performed 33 combat sorties from Hmeymim airbase engaging 32 ISIS infrastructural facilities in the Idlib, Hama, Damascus, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor provinces. The flight intensity of the Russian Aerospace Forces has decreased… Near Al-Atarib, Idlib province, Su-25 attack aircraft carried out strike against underground plant manufacturing high-explosive mines. The militants produced the mines in order to plant them at the highways of the region. The detonation of the explosives caused destruction of the target.”

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS581

Incident date

February 9, 2016

Location

ﺣﻠﺐ, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.197971, 37.1656697 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

The Violations Documentation Center named one civilian Abo Shukri as a victim – but no details were given about where he was killed, and the name is not precise.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Namer al-Shukri was killed in alleged Russian raids. However it said he was “the military commander of Aleppo district in the Islamic movement of Fajr al-Sham and a member of the office Media in the city“.

It went on to add that “several others including officers were injured when Russian warplanes bombed the headquarter of the movement in Ain al-Tal are north of Aleppo city.”

Houran-Ibrahim Alzoubi also said that Nimr-Karim ‘Abu Shukri was a military commander.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Abo Shukri Adult male killed
  • Name unknown Age unknown

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ 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

From February 4th – February 11th, Russia reported: “In the course of the last week, February 4-11, aircraft of the Russian aviation group in the Syrian Arab Republic have performed 510 combat sorties engaging 1,888 terrorists’ objects in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Deir ez-Zor, Daraa, Homs, Hasakah and Raqqah.” It added: “Two powerful field commanders were liquidated in the Aleppo province.In the suburbs of Kalaz-Tahtani, a large illegal armed group with its commander, “Abu Maher” (“Farid Al-Misri”) was eliminated by an airstrike.The field commander “Abu Anas Al-Sham” from the Jaysh al-Sham terrorist group was liquidated in the territory of the same province.” It also said that “Russian aviation eliminated open ISIS oil storages in the Aleppo province.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS587

Incident date

February 9, 2016

Location

النعيمة‎, Naemah, Dara'a, Syria

Geolocation

32.6317313, 36.1592245 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

The Violations Documentation Center named one civilian man, Morad Hasan al Aboud, as killed in an alleged Russian raid on Naemah.

However, it linked to a video in which the voiceover says the victim is a ‘hero from the Free Army.’ Daraa Martyrs also published a video in which the voiceover says that “the martyr Murad Hassan Aboud was one of the heroes of FSA martyred by airstrike from Russian planes in Na’aymah.

All4Syria also attributed the incident to Russia, reporting that “Russian warplanes targeted the towns and cities (Naemeh – East Ghariyah – West Ghariyah – Alma – elSoura – elHerak) with more than 40 raid cluster bombs internationally forbidden, which led to the fall of a number of the victims were civilians, specifically in the east of Gharriyahl.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Video by Daraa Martyrs showing the alleged body of Morad Hasan al Aboud

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

From February 4th – February 11th, Russia reported: “In the course of the last week, February 4-11, aircraft of the Russian aviation group in the Syrian Arab Republic have performed 510 combat sorties engaging 1,888 terrorists’ objects in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Deir ez-Zor, Daraa, Homs, Hasakah and Raqqah.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS063

Incident date

October 20, 2015

Location

الرستن‬, Ar-Rastan, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.93, 36.74 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

A number of civilians were reported injured, after a midnight Russian air raid on the headquarters of a local rebel faction based in Al Rastan. Two fighters were confirmed killed. one of whom was originally reported to have been a non-combatant.

According to Sin News, the air raid “resulted in the collapse of the entire headquarters and the killing of one person, as well as the injuring of nearby civilians and the collapse of residential buildings.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ 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 reference to strikes in Homs in its report for October 20th-21st 2015.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS392

Incident date

January 15, 2016

Location

ماير, Mayer, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.38711, 37.0245 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

One to two civilians were allegedly killed and several others injured in alleged Russian airstrikes on Mayer, according to local sources.

In a news roundup, Shaam News said two non-combatants died in a raid by Russian warplanes, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that “a person was killed when warplanes believed to be Russian bombed areas in the town of Mayer in the northern countryside of Aleppo.

The Violations Documentation Center named one victim as Ahmad Mohammad Qasem. However the pro-regime Aleppo Today described him as a combatant: “The killing today of a field officers in the Free Syrian Army Ahmed Mohammed Qasim, nicknamed ‘Haji Meyer’ along with a number of militants, after targeting by Russian fighter jets of their headquarters in Mayer.” All 4 Syria also said he was a military commander.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (9) [ 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

Russia has not reported any strikes between 11-15 January.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS070

Incident date

October 23, 2015

Location

تلبيسة, Talbisah, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.840505, 36.72922 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Eighteen civilians were killed in heavy airstrikes on Talbiseh, all from the Aloush and Swais families. Nine children were among the dead following at least three air raids. Graphic footage shows bombs being dropped in the centre of the town, followed by desperate rescue operations.

Opinion was divided on whether the attacks were by Russian or Assad regime aircraft. However, footage of an aircraft dropping bombs on the town that day appears to show an Su-22, an aircraft type not used by Russia in Syria at the time of the incident.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (8)

  • Mustafa Adnan Aloush Child male killed
  • Khaled Elwan Aloush Child male killed
  • Adnan Aloush Child male killed
  • Sajide Adnan Aloush Child female killed
  • Khadeje Adnan Aloush Adult female killed
  • Meriam Abdul Razak Aloush Adult female killed
  • Meriam Abdul Kader Aloush Adult female killed
  • Adnan Hasan Aloush Adult male killed

Family members (6)

  • Masoud Saeid Swais Adult male killed
  • Fadi Murhaf Masoud Swais Child male killed
  • Omar Usama Masoud Swais Child male killed
  • Jamal Hmadi Swais Child male killed
  • Shahid Masoud Swais Child female killed
  • Khaled Masoud Swais Child male killed
  • Abdul Kareem al-Daher al-Zuair Adult male killed
  • Nour Ziad al-Dhaik Adult female killed
  • Shaaban Jnaid al-Khalaf Adult male killed
  • Kamal Qasem Erfan Adult male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    18
  • (9 children5 women5 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • Photo of a tweet by @abohafsalhamoe: translation: The death of an entire family made up of 8 people following Russian raids on Talbissa in northern Homs countryside as Friday prayer was cancelled.
  • Photo of @houla-homs. Translation: 6 members from one family /the family of the lawyer Adnan Alloush/ were all martyred in Talbissa, northern Homs countryside 23/10/2015
  • Title: Talbissa 23/10/2015 The martyr the baby Fadi Morhaf Al Soueiss.
  • Title: Talbissa 23/10/2015 very important - the fall of a vacuum missiles near the photographer caused a massacre.
  • Title: the moment warplanes bombed the town of Talbissa in Homs countryside.

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

There is no published Russian Defence Ministry record for October 23rd-24th 2015.

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    18
  • (9 children5 women5 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS569 RS1963

Incident date

March 11, 2017

Location

مسكنة, Maskanah, Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

35.963172, 38.035655 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Between eight and ten civilians died and up to 16 others were wounded in an airstrike on Maskana, according to local sources – though field reports were conflicted as to whether this was the work of the Coalition, the Syrian regime or Russia. The Coalition later denied involvement.

Syria News said that “According to activists, the international coalition bombed the neighborhood Rihaniyya in Maskana, resulting in eight martyrs and the presence of dozens of wounded under the rubble, including women and children”.

Qasioun also pointed towards the Coalition, putting the death toll at ten.

In a video for Al Jisr TV, a reporter says that Russia and the regime were to blame, putting the death toll at eight with 16 more injured.

The Step News Agency and Smart blamed Russia, while RFS Media said that the regime was responsible.

Maskana Halab reported that “eight displaced people including women and children killed as a result of an air raid targeting a house in al Rihaniya in Maskana” – though they didn’t indentify the culprit.

According to Syria News Desk – which attributed the event to Russia and the regime – “a civilian source from Maskana who declined to be identified said that the strikes destroyed at least five houses and two stores on the east side of the highway district Rihaniyya, in addition to the burning of two houses and two cars.”

On April 30th 2017 the Coalition said it had classed the event as ‘not credible’: “March 12, 2017, near Maskana, Syria, via social media report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 10
  • (0–2 children0–2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    14–16
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Translation: martyrs and wounded under the rubble following an air raid targeting Maskana in the eastern Aleppo countryside.
  • Title: the international coalition commits a massacre in maskana in the eastern Aleppo countryside and the Russians intensify their raids in the western countryside. (note: the reporter says it was Russia and regime)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Maskana, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Apr 30, 2017
  • No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The Coalition has not publicly reported any strikes in Aleppo governorate between March 11th-13th.

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

Russia has not reported any strikes between March 1st – 31st 2017.

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 10
  • (0–2 children0–2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    14–16
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]