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

RS2706

Incident date

November 8, 2017

Location

رملة, Ramla, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.714183, 37.411194 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Several civilians were wounded in airstrikes at various locations in Aleppo including the villages of Al-Sayyala, Maizliya and Ramla and other areas in the southern countryside of Aleppo. Sources blamed both the Syrian regime and Russia.

Smart News Agency – who reported Russia as culpable for the raids – was the only source to report that two civilians were injured.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that “violent explosions rocked areas in the southern countryside of Aleppo” in the morning. They did not attribute blame.

Geographic Syria have suggested there were clashes in the area involving both Russia and the Syrian regime: “The Russian warplanes launched several air strikes with surface rockets on the villages of Ramla, Ma`ezilia and Sayyala. Heavy artillery shells fired by the regime forces fell on the villages of Mabarqa and Al Baha in the southern countryside of Aleppo.”

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
    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 (5) [ 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

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • 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 (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS3637

Incident date

April 30, 2019

Location

اللطامنة, Al Latamina, Hama, Syria

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were reportedly injured in alleged Russian or Syrian regime air and/or artillery strikes on the town of Al Latamina on April 30th, 2019, according to local sources.

Kafar Zeita TV reported that two civilians were wounded by rocket fire from Russian helicopters on the outskirts of the town of Al Latamina in the northern countryside of Hama. The source added that “a number of sheep” were also killed.

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria reported “heavy artillery shelling targeting most of the areas mentioned [in a list, which included Al Latamina], resulting in the deaths and injuries of a large number of civilians.”

According to Tell Me, “an intensive aerial bombardment targeted a hospital and an ambulance center in Al Latamina”.

@mhmdalywns56 tweeted that “Russian warplanes bombarded terrorist sites in the town of Latamina in the northern suburb of Hama”.

While most sources blamed Russia for the incident, others, such as SyriaTV, pointed to the Syrian regime.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (25) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (10) [ collapse]

  • Alleged Russian airstrikes on Al Latamina, April 30th (via Jobar News).
  • Alleged Russian airstrikes on Al Latamina, April 30th (via Step News Agency).
  • "A barrage of rockets" allegedly fired by Russian warplanes on Al Latamina, April 30th (via Mahmood Alhamwi).
  • Translation: "Mass destruction left by a Russian air raid on the city of Latamina in the countryside of Hama 30-04-2019" (via Mahmood Alhamwi).
  • "Intensive aerial bombardment targeting a hospital and an ambulance center in Al-Latamina" (via TellMe).
  • "Russian warplanes bombard the city of Latamina in Syria" (via
  • Footage of a strike by a helicopter on Al Latamina, April 30th.
  • Further footage of strikes on on Al Latamına, April 30th (via @Wesal_TV).
  • Footage of strikes on Al Latamina, April 30th (via @HadiAlabdallah).
  • Footage from inside the town showing the raids, April 30th. Voice over video says: "The town of al Latamna now..Russian vacuum missiles” (via @mhmdalywyns56).

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
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (25) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS3307

Incident date

March 19, 2018

Location

عين ترما, Ein Tarma, Damascus, Syria

Geolocation

33.51602, 36.35078 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

At least three civilians were reportedly killed, and  others – including woman and children – were injured in an alleged Russian and/or Syrian regime forces airstrike on Ein Tarma town in Eastern Ghouta, March 19th, 2018, according to local media sources.

Syrian Civil Defense (SCD) said on their Facebook page that “Russian warplanes targeted residential areas with an air strike at 7:30 AM, destroying a building on its residents and causing civilian casualties. After three hours of work, two children, two women and a man were rescued from the rubble. The teams were unable to retrieve the bodies of the martyrs”.

@aboalhodaalhoms  published images of some of the casualties, including two pictures of children; in one of the pictures the child was obviously dead; in the second it was unclear whether the victim had been killed or seriously wounded.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SN4HR), Smart News Agency and Shahba news blamed the Russian forces and the Syrian regime forces, while Syrian Civil Defense (SCD) pointed to Russian forces as responsible.

According to the Violations Documentation Centre, three unidentified adult males were killed in warplane shelling by the “Syrian government and affiliated militias”.

According to SMART Agency “The civil defense said civilians were killed and wounded as a result of a raid by Russian warplanes on the town of Ein Tirma (6 km east of Damascus), but the intensity of the shelling did not allow the bodies to be pulled from the rubble, where the number remained unknown while the volunteers managed to take out two children, two women and a man only.”

The Step News Agency noted “10 raids on Ein Tarma town”.

The incident occured at approximately 7:30 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 5
  • (1–2 children3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • 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 (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Destruction caused by an alleged Russian or Syrian regime forces on Ein Tarma, March 19th, 2018. (Barada)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A child killed in an alleged Russian or Syrian regime forces on Ein Tarma, March 19th, 2018. (DMC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A child killed in an alleged Russian forces or Syrian regime forces airstrike on Ein Tarma, March 19th, 2018. (DMC)
  • A child injured in an alleged Russian forces or Syrian regime forces airstrike on Ein Tarma in Eastern Ghouta, March 19th, 2018. (DMC)

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
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 5
  • (1–2 children3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • 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 (15) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS3330

Incident date

March 23, 2018

Location

دوما, Douma, Damascus, Syria

Geolocation

33.5714804, 36.4033699 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Up to 10 civilians were reported killed and an unknown number of others were injured in alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes on Douma, Damascus governorate, on March 23rd, 2018, according to local sources.

Enab Baladi reported that an alleged Russian warplane “targeted the residential neighbourhoods of the city with 30 strikes, loaded with incendiary phosphorous and cluster bombs, from midnight to Thursday morning, Thursday, March 23, killing 10 people.” Smart News Agency also documented the death of 10 civilians.

In addition, Step News Agency reported that an unspecified number of civilians were wounded.

The Syrian Civil Defence reported the names of three civilian fatalities, all men. Bashir Nasrullah reported on Facebook Majed Aref Nasrallah was also killed in the airstrikes, posting a photo of the body of the victim.

@aboalhodaalhoms tweeted that the civilian homes were targeted with rockets loaded with phosphorus by Russian and Syrian regime forces during the night. @SiegeWatch reported that Douma “has been bombed with at least 27 airstrikes containing incendiary munitions (both napalm and phosphorus suspected).” Siege Watch said there had been 30 strikes.

While some sources pointed to Russia as the belligerent, others blamed both Russia and the Syrian regime.

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 10
  • (4 men)
  • 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 (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Majed Aref Nasrallah was killed in alleged Russian airstrikes on Douma on March 23rd, 2018 (via Bashir Nasrullah on Facebook).
  • Fire after alleged Russian and/or Syrian regime airstrikes on the city of Douma in the night of March 23rd, 2018 (via @SiegeWatch).
  • Aftermath of alleged Russian and/or Syrian regime airstrikes on the city of Douma in the night of March 23rd, 2018 (via @SiegeWatch).
  • Fire after alleged Russian and/or Syrian regime airstrikes on the city of Douma in the night of March 23rd, 2018 (via @SiegeWatch).
  • Aftermath of alleged Russian and/or Syrian regime airstrikes on the city of Douma in the night of March 23rd, 2018 (via @SiegeWatch).

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
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 10
  • (4 men)
  • 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 (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS3028

Incident date

February 17, 2018

Location

كفرزيتا, Kaarzeta, Hama, Syria

Geolocation

35.3747033, 36.5923691 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Several civilians were possibly left wounded as aerial and/or artillery shelling struck Kaarzeta, Hama, local sources reported.

Numerous sources reported how the village of Kaarzeta had been subject to aerial, and possibly also artillery shelling, the latter reported by Hamah Now.

Horrya News said that unidentified warplanes struck a hospital in the village.

 

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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 (5) [ 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 February 1st - 28th 2018.

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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 (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS3548

Incident date

September 8, 2018

Location

السرج, Al Sarj, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

A pregnant woman was killed with her baby, and others including a woman injured in alleged Russian forces or Syrian regime forces airstrike or artillery attack with rockets on Al Sarj village in Idlib on September 8th, 2018, according to local sources. The victim was identified as Ola Riyad Al-Daher. 

Bawabat Hama posted “Mrs. Ola Riyad Al-Daher, an IDP from the northern village of Al-Fann in the eastern Hama countryside, was killed with her fetus as a result of the shelling that targeted the Sarj village in the Idlib countryside.”

Also SMART News said that “A pregnant woman was also killed and another wounded by shelling Al Saraj village east of Idlib from its positions in Um Rajim village, according to activists.”

Most sources blamed the Syrian regime for this incident, but Shaam Network said that “The Russian warplanes and the Syrian Air Force continued bombardments in a new campaign of escalation, recording dozens of air strikes accompanied by heavy artillery and rocket fire. The indiscriminate shelling led to a martyr in the village of Al-Halba and to killing a  woman and  her embryo in the village of Al-Sarj.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (21) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ 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

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (21) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS385 R3919A

Incident date

November 8, 2019

Location

سرمساخ, Sermisax, Al Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

37.138889, 41.977500 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

One civilian was reported killed and between five and ten others wounded allegedly when Turkish or Russian forces opened fire on protesters in Sermisax, in Qamishli – Syria on November 8th, 2019, according to local sources.

ANHA reported that Serkheboon Ali was killed, and the following civilians were among the injured: Bahoz Çelo,  Fehed Mûsa, Sûhêl Ebdellah, and Eyîşa Omer û Alaa Omer.

The Kurdish Red Crescent report on the casualties caused by the Turkish operation between October 9th and November 14th mentioned that Serkheboon Ali was killed as a Turkish Tank ran over his body.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Armed Forces, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • Serxwebûn Ali was killed in Derik on 8 Nov 2019 after allegedly Turkish/Russian convoy opened fire on protesters (via ANHA)
  • Civilians injured in Derik on 8 Nov 2019 after allegedly Turkish/Russian convoy opened fire on protesters (via ANHA)
  • Civilians injured in Derik on 8 Nov 2019 after allegedly Turkish/Russian convoy opened fire on protesters (via ANHA)
  • Civilians injured in Derik on 8 Nov 2019 after allegedly Turkish/Russian convoy opened fire on protesters (via ANHA)
  • Civilians injured in Derik on 8 Nov 2019 after allegedly Turkish/Russian convoy opened fire on protesters (via ANHA)
  • KRC list of civilians killed and injured between 09 October and 14 November 2019.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Sermisax (سرمساخ), for which the coordinates are: 37.138889, 41.977500. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish 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

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Armed Forces, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R3986

Incident date

December 4, 2019

Location

تل الطوقان, Tal Al Touqan, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

An unspecified number of civilians were wounded in alleged Russian or regime strikes on Tal Al Touqan, according to local media.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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 (2) [ 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

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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 (2) [ collapse]