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
Weak
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

R3998

Incident date

Location

بلشون, Balchoun, Mount Zawia, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

Two men was reportedly wounded in an alleged Russian airstrike on Balchoun, Mount Zawia, Idlib governorate, on December 7th, 2019, according to IdlibPlus.

Currently, further information is unavailable to Airwars.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS3665A

Incident date

Location

حاس: نبض الحياة, Hass: Nabd Al Hayat hospital, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

A male civilian was killed and another one was injured in alleged Russian airstrikes on the Nabd Al Hayat hospital in the town of Hayat on May 5th, 2019, according to Human Rights Watch. Other sources reported on the incident but did not mention any civilian harm.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that “fixed-wing warplanes we believe were Russian fired missiles on Nabd al Hayat Hospital- established in a cave- near Hass village in Idlib governorate southern suburbs, severely damaging the hospital facilities and equipment, on May 5, 2019.”

@Sy24ria tweeted: “The medical point called “Nabd Al-Hayat” in the town of Hass, south of Idlib, was out of service after it was bombed by Russian warplanes with four airstrikes.”

Human Rights Watch published their investigation into the incident in October 2020, reporting that one civilian man had died and another one was injured as they passed the hospital on the moment of the strike.

A medical worker at the hospital told HRW that patients were already evacuated on May 4th due to the ongoing heavy shelling. On the morning of May 5th, the source was informed by a friend with alleged connections with the Syrian government that the hospital was about to be hit by a strike: “I told my colleagues and we immediately evacuated all the remaining people.”

The source stated that he saw “an aircraft launch an attack” at 2:40 PM. HRW wrote that “satellite imagery analysis is consistent with the medical worker’s account. According to available imagery, the attack took place sometime between 10:55 a.m. on May 5, 2019 and May 7, 2019. The imagery shows multiple impact sites and destruction of the building and the adjacent road.”

All sources pointed to Russia as the responsible belligerent for the strike. According to HRW, flight spotters indicated that Russian aircraft were in the area at the time of the attack. Furthermore, “intercepted radio communications between a Russian air force pilot and Russian ground control obtained by the New York Times implicate a Russian aircraft in the attack.”

The report states that “an SCD volunteer and the health worker interviewed said they knew of no military objectives in the vicinity before or at the time of the attack, nor were there signs of military weapons, equipment, or personnel in the imagery reviewed.”

According to HRW, “had a capacity of 18 beds in three wards, and 52 staff. In May 2019, it served a community of about 300,000 people living in the countryside in southern Idlib.” As of June 2020, the hospital was still out of service.

On May 5th, alleged Syrian regime warplanes also targeted the town of Hass, reportedly killing one woman and injuring others, including children.

The incident occured at approximately 2:40 pm local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (24) [ collapse]

  • Translation: “One of the patients who fled after the targeting of Hass and Kafr Nabl hospitals” (via @ala_hacioglu).
  • One of the patients fleeing from the Nabd Al Hayat hospital around the time of alleged Russian airstrikes on Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via @ala_hacioglu).
  • Translation: “The medical point called "Nabd Al-Hayat" in the town of Hass, south of Idlib, was out of service after it was bombed by Russian warplanes with four air strikes” (via @Sy24ria).
  • Damage after alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in the town of Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via @Sy24ria).
  • Alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via @Sy24ria).
  • Rubble after alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via @Sy24ria).
  • Rubble after alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via @Sy24ria).
  • Translation: “The moment the "Nabed Al-Hayat" hospital was destroyed by Russian raids in the town of Hass in Idlib countryside today” (via @osama_sy87).
  • Alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via @osama_sy87).
  • Translation: “The moment the Hass Hospital in the southern countryside of Idlib was targeted in the airstrikes” (via @Sharif199629).
  • Translation: “#Shaam: Russian warplanes directly targeted Nabed Al-Hayat Hospital near the town of Hass in the southern countryside of Idlib, causing great damage to the hospital and leaving it out of service” (via @shaamnews).
  • Rubble after alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via @shaamnews).
  • Aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via @shaamnews).
  • Rubble after alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via @@shaamnews).
  • Pile of rubble after alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via @@shaamnews).
  • Destroyed hospital after alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via @liveuamar).
  • Destruction after alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via @liveuamar).
  • Destroyed hospital after alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via @liveuamar).
  • Translation: “Nabed Al-Hayat Hospital was destroyed in the town of Hass, south of Idlib, northern Syria, on Sunday May 5, 2019, as a result of direct strikes from Russian warplanes” (via Smart News Agency).
  • A sign near the destroyed hospital after alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via SNHR).
  • A man walking through rubble after alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via Macro Media Centre).
  • Aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via Macro Media Centre).
  • Rubble after alleged Russian airstrikes on Nabd Al Hayat hospital in Hass on May 5th, 2019 (via Macro Media Centre).

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R3871

Incident date

Location

كفرنبل, Kafr Nabil, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

A single source claimed that a civilian was killed and another wounded due to artillery and rocket shelling by the Syrian regime and Russian forces on residential neighborhoods in Kafr Nabil, struck from camp in Al-Nimr hill near Khan Sheikhoun.

No other details are known at this time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims of an alleged Russian or Syrian airstrike on a residential neighborhood in Kafr Nabil on August 31st (via Baladi News).

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS012

Incident date

October 2, 2015

Location

مَعَرَّة النُّعْمَان, Maarat al Numan, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.647038, 36.679174 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

According to the Syrian Observatory, “Russian warplanes carried out airstrikes on several places at the town of al-Ghadqa in the countryside of Maarat al Numan in the eastern countryside of Idlib, and we have information about injuries to several people, including paramedics from the civil defence.”

While no other sources reported the attack, the Russian MoD has confirmed strikes in the near vicinity.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Footage of the Russian strike near the town of al-Ghadqa in the countryside of Maarat al Numan. (via Russian Defence)

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 noted that for October 2nd 2015, “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.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS022

Incident date

October 6, 2015

Location

القريتين, Al Qaryatayn, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.22989, 37.238245 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

The Syrian Observatory reported an unspecified number of casualties from an alleged Russian strike at Qarayatain, a town to the south west of Palmyra. Qasioun also reported that “a raid by fighters of the Russian Air Force on Tuesday afternoon led to deaths and injuries among civilians, some serious, as well as widespread destruction of civilian buildings, and property.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • News report in which an activist confirms Russian raids on Al Qaryatayn. No mention of civilian casualties. (via, Media office of the rebels of Syria)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

No Russian airstrikes were publicly reported in Homs governorate for October 6th 2015.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS047

Incident date

October 15, 2015

Location

سابقية, Sabkiye, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.0641216, 37.1032333 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A husband, wife and their three children, all boys, were reported killed in a Russian airstrike at Sabkiye, in Aleppo governorate.

This event is presently single-sourced, with few details known. More broadly, the Syrian Observatory reported a major ground battle taking place at Sabkiye on the same day.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (5)

  • Adla Mohammad al-Jasem Adult female killed with her husband and three children killed
  • husband of Adla Mohammad al-Jasem Adult male killed with his wife and three children killed
  • One child of Adla Mohammad al-Jasem Child male
  • One child of Adla Mohammad al-Jasem Child male
  • One child of Adla Mohammad al-Jasem Child

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (3 children1 woman1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (2) [ 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 has confirmed carrying out airstrikes in Aleppo governorate for October 15th-16th 2015: “Su-24M bombers hit a two-storey building, which the ISIS militants had used as command centre (Aleppo province). As a result, the target was destroyed by a direct hit of an air bomb.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (3 children1 woman1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS058

Incident date

October 18, 2015

Location

الوضيحي, Al Widehi, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.1007814, 37.1281242 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.

Incident Code

RS062

Incident date

October 20, 2015

Location

كفر تخاريم, Kafr Takharim, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

36.1168, 36.51522 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

A reported Russian airstrike on an empty school complex allegedly killed up to a dozen people, according to reports.

Reporting from Sarmin, Orient News reporter Abu Mahmoud described the event: “Russian occupation forces targeted the town of Sarmeen with steric missiles. The target was a children’s school.. they are two schools next to each other, a primary school and a secondary school. Luckily the children had gone home half an hour earlier.

There are elements of this description which match the previous event at Sarmin, and it appears this incident may have been confused with the former.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12
  • Civilians reported injured
    10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • A photo taken of twitter account @AEJkhalil. translation: School bombed by #Russia airstrikes today in #Kafr_Takharim, 12 martyrs & dozens were wounded.. #Idlib #Syria Oct 20

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 has confirmed carrying out strikes in Idlib governorate for October 20th-21st 2015: “In the course of the last 24 hours, aircraft of the Russian air group in the Syrian Arab Republic have performed 46 combat sorties engaging 83 terrorist facilities in the Hama, Idlib, Damascus, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor provinces.“

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12
  • Civilians reported injured
    10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]