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
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

RS617

Incident date

February 15, 2016

Location

حر بنفسه, Harbnafsa, Hama, Syria

Geolocation

34.9371883, 36.6221952 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Two or three civilians were killed in airstrikes on Harbnafsa according to local sources – though reports are conflicted as to whether this was the work of Russia or the regime.

Shaam News Network said that  Russian warplanes launched “intensive air raids on the town” in the morning. Activists documented eight strikes, leading to two non-combatant deaths with several more wounded, including displaced people from the town of Kafr Laha.

Syria811 also blamed Russia, putting  the death toll at three non-combatants, with several more wounded. However, according to Ara News, two civilians died in strikes by the regime. Salamalsore reported that there had been bombing “on the road to Harbenfsh“, though they didn’t say who was responsible.

Masyafnow named a victim as Hassan Fahed Alakari, reporting that he died as a result of injuries in the attack. However another source claimed that Hasan Fahid Al-Akari was an Assad regime irregular.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Hassan Fahed Alakari Adult male Possibly Assad regime irregular killed

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (0–1 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 (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

From February 10th – February 16th, Russia reported: “On February 10-16, aircraft of the Russian aviation group in the Syrian Arab Republic have performed 444 combat sorties engaging 1593 terrorists’ objects in the provinces of Deir ez-Zor, Daraa, Homs, Hama, Latakia and Aleppo.”

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 – 3
  • (0–1 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 (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS618

Incident date

February 15, 2016

Location

أبو الظهور, Abu al Duhur, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.738466, 37.0479584 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Between four and seven civilians including three children were killed and several other civilians injured in alleged Russian airstrikes on the town of Abu al Duhur, according to local sources.

Shaam News Network put the number killed at four and said the victims were all from the same family. But other sources – also blaming Russia – put the death toll at seven. According to Zamanmasdar this included three children and a woman.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 7
  • (3 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ 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 airstrikes in Idlib for February 10th – February 16th though published a detailed response to civilian casualty allegations in the governorate.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 7
  • (3 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS619 CS174

Incident date

February 15, 2016

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

The Russian government accused the Coalition of killing nine civilians and injuring 26 in an airstrike on an MSF hospital at Maarat al Numan. This was later denied, with a Coalition report insisting “No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties.”

According to a document and map issued by the Russian foreign ministry “On 15 February 2016 the airstrike by the US-led coalition was delivered on the “Medecins sans frontierès” hospital near the Maared al-Nuuman village. As a result of this attack 9 people were killed and 26 wounded.”

However Russia itself – along with the Assad regime – were accused of the same incident. Shaam News Network reported that the Health Directorate in Iblib “issued a statement regarding the Russian raids that targeted field hospitals today in a rural Idlib and Aleppo. The statement said that Russian warplanes had on Monday conducted air strikes which targeted a number of villages in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib and that the largest share in these raids was the medical facilities.

It went on to say that at “around eleven o’clock, the Russian Aviation raid targeted the Central Hospital (National) in the town of Maaret al-Numan killing three martyrs, including a nurse and a large number of wounded.

SNN also posted a video – not specific only to this incident – entitled ‘The day of the destruction of hospitals: 5 main medical centres are out of service as a result of the planes and missiles of the Russian enemy.’

Reuters reported that “about 50 civilians were killed when missiles hit five medical centers and two schools in rebel-held Syrian towns on Monday“, according to the United Nations and local residents. The report cited the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: “Also in Marat Numan, another strike hit the National Hospital on the north edge of town, killing two nurses, the Observatory said.” But the report did not say whether Russia or the regime were responsible.

Ten images were published by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights showing “destruction by bombing by warplanes believed to be Russian on two hospitals in Maarrat al-Nu’man and its vicinity.” It said a strike on one hospital “supported by an international medical organization, killed and injured tens of people including nurses, besides missing people under the rubble which also includes nurses and doctors.” It is not clear whether these photos refer to this incident or the other incident in Maarat al Numan on this day, a strike on a MSF hospital (see entry below for February 15th).

SO4HR put the final death toll of the bombing of two hospitals (the “National hospital” which this incident refers to and the MSF hospital in the separate incident – listed below – also on February 15th) at 31 including “four children, three women citizens, and 11 doctors, nurses and laboratory specialist“.

However, the Syrian Network for Human Rights blamed shelling by the regime, which they said killed a nurse, named as Amena Hussein Al Hasan.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Amena Hussein Al Hasan Adult female Named by SN4HR killed

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 9
  • Civilians reported injured
    26
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Unknown, Syrian Regime Armed Forces, US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (14) [ collapse]

  • Image showing damage to the exterior of the National Hospital in Maarat al Numan following an alleged Russian strike on Feb 15th (via SNN)
  • The interior of the National Hospital in Maarat al Numan following an alleged Russian airstrike on Feb 15th (via SNN)
  • The aftermath of the incident. (via, SOHR)
  • The aftermath of the incident. (via, SOHR)
  • The aftermath of the incident. (via, SOHR)
  • Damage to the medical facility. (via, SOHR)
  • The aftermath of the incident. (via, SOHR)
  • The aftermath of the incident. (via, SOHR)
  • The aftermath of the incident. (via, SOHR)
  • Damage to the medical facility. (via, SOHR)
  • Damage to the medical facility. (via, SOHR)
  • Damage to the medical facility. (via, SOHR)
  • The interior of the National Hospital in Maarat al Numan following an alleged Russian airstrike on Feb 15th (via SNN)
  • The Russian government accused the US-led Coalition of killing nne civilians in a strike on a hospital on February 15th 2016 (image via Russian Foreign Ministry)

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Unknown

Russia has not reported any airstrikes in Idlib for February 10th – February 16th. Additionally, they published the following in response to allegations of strikes on hospitals in the governorate for this date:

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For February 14th-16th 2016, the Coalition publicly reported no strikes in Idlib governorate. However, any unilateral US strikes against al Nusra targets in Idlib were not publicly reported by the Coalition.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 9
  • Civilians reported injured
    26
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Unknown, Syrian Regime Armed Forces, US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS615

Incident date

February 15, 2016

Location

أعزاز‎, A`zaz, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.586273, 37.04739 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Between nine and 14 civilians including two children and one women were killed and 30 others injured in airstrikes on a children’s and women’s hospital in Azaz, according to local sources – though reports were conflicted as to whether this was the work of Russia or the Assad regime.

Activists told Shaam News Network that “the Russian air force targeted the city of Izaz today with more than 13 air raids, which were followed by a direct targeting of field hospitals with ballistic missiles launched by Russian warships in the Mediterranean carrying cluster bombs“. They put the death toll at more than 10 non-combatants with 30 wounded, some in critical condition.

The Health Directorate in Idlib province issued a statement regarding the Russian raids that targeted field hospitals on February 15th in rural Idlib and Aleppo, which was published by SNN. This said that a “ballistic missile was launched from the Russian warships in the Mediterranean, hit  the city of Izaz in the countryside of Aleppo, at precisely a quarter past eight targeting the Obstetrics and Women’s Hospital and leaving a large and injuries among the civilian and devastation led to the destruction of the hospital completely and leaving it out of service. Ten people were killed including three children and a pregnant woman and more than thirty others were injured.

A video posted by SNN, entitled “The day of the destruction of hospitals: 5 main medical centres are out of service as a result of the planes and missiles of the Russian enemy“, showed the moments bombs were dropped before cutting to footage of destruction of buildings. The video is not specific only to this incident.

Reuters reported that “Fourteen people were killed in the town of Azaz near the Turkish border when missiles slammed into a school sheltering families fleeing the offensive and a children’s hospital, two residents and a medic said.” However it did not say who was responsible for the incident.

Images showing “destruction caused by the missile and air strikes on places in the vicinity of a hospital in Azaz city north of Aleppo province” were published by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which also did not say who carried out the attacks.

But according to an initial report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the regime fired surface to surface missiles on the gynecological and children’s hospital, damaging two ambulances. A second SN4HR report, which again blamed “regime shelling“, said that at least five died including two children and a woman.

However, in a third report, SN4HR appeared to change their position and attribute the incident to Russia: “On 15 Feb 2016 alleged Russian warplanes launched a long range missile on a .trucks gathering in Azzaz city in northern Aleppo suburbs which killed 6 individuals including a child and a woman“.

According to the Violations Documentation Center, 8 civilians were killed in regime shelling.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9 – 14
  • (2 children1 woman7 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    30
  • 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 (1) [ collapse]

  • Images of the alleged Russian and Syrian Regime airstrike. (via, SOHR)

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 10th – February 16th, Russia reported: “On February 10-16, aircraft of the Russian aviation group in the Syrian Arab Republic have performed 444 combat sorties engaging 1593 terrorists’ objects in the provinces of Deir ez-Zor, Daraa, Homs, Hama, Latakia and Aleppo.” They published the following is response to civilian casualty allegations in Azaz:

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
    9 – 14
  • (2 children1 woman7 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    30
  • 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

RS616

Incident date

February 15, 2016

Location

كلجبرين‎, Kaljabreen, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.5365019, 37.1176958 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Between six and ten civilians including three to four children and one woman were killed in alleged Russian airstrikes on Kaljabreen, according to local sources.

Shaam News Network reported that Russian warplanes targeted a school for sheltering displaced people in Kaljabreen, “causing a horrific massacre“. According to an initial report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, at least six civilians including four children and a woman died when “suspected Russian warplanes missiles fired on Kaljabrein village“.

But a later SN4HR report put the death toll higher at 10 including three children and a woman, reporting that they were killed when Russian planes launched missiles next toOmar Bin Khattab mosque on the road between Kaljibreen town and Maree’ city in Aleppo“.

One victim 18-year-old male was named by the Violations Documentation Center  but it is not clear where in Aleppo he died. Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently also named him, and said he died following a Russian strike that targeted him in the northern Aleppo countryside on February 15th. He was also named for the incident on February 15th in Azaz (see above), so further research is required to ascertain which incident he died in.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 10
  • (3–4 children1 woman)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A seriously graphic image of two deceased children. (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

From February 10th – February 16th, Russia reported: “On February 10-16, aircraft of the Russian aviation group in the Syrian Arab Republic have performed 444 combat sorties engaging 1593 terrorists’ objects in the provinces of Deir ez-Zor, Daraa, Homs, Hama, Latakia and Aleppo.”

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 10
  • (3–4 children1 woman)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS614

Incident date

February 15, 2016

Location

حزرما, Hazrama, Damascus, Syria

Geolocation

33.51718, 36.48874 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

The Shaam News Network reported that one civilian was killed in an alleged Russian airstrike in Hazrama as part of “dozens of raids on the towns of eastern Ghouta”.

The VDC listed one adult male, as killed in “warplane shelling” in Hazrama. The victim was also listed by Syrian Martyrs, who said he was killed in a Russian strike. RP Syria reported one death in the village from a Russian raid.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • 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

Russia makes no public mention of having carried out strikes in Damascus from February 10th – February 16th.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS613

Incident date

February 15, 2016

Location

عين ترما, Ain Tarma, Damascus, Syria

Geolocation

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

Airwars assessment

Four non-combatants including one child died in airstrikes on Ain Tarma in Damascus governorate, according to two local sources – though reports are conflicted as to whether Russia or the Assad regime carried out the attacks.

The Shaam News Network reported that “The towns of eastern Ghouta are still living under bombardment by aviation Russian aggression on a daily basis“, adding that non-combatants were killed and five others in Ain Tarma. But in a second report, SNN put the death toll higher at four. Syria Mirror attributed the incident to Russia, also putting the number killed at four.

However, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, “at least 3 victims including a girl” died when regime warplanes fired missiles on Ain Tarma.

Zaman News also said that the regime was responsible and listed four victims.

Syrian Martyrs also named these victims and said that the regime was to blame.

But other sources, including the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, didn’t identify the warplanes responsible.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Hala Edris Child male Named by Zaman News killed
  • Sa’eed Nazeef Age unknown male Named by Zaman News killed
  • Abdo Al-Hatti Age unknown male Named by Zaman News killed
  • Umar Al-Beqa’i Age unknown male Named by Zaman News killed

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (1 child0–3 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 (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Tweet by The Syrian Mirror speaking of four victims. (via, The Syrian Mirror)
  • Images of the aftermath of the alleged incident. (via SNN)

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 makes no public mention of having carried out strikes in Damascus from February 10th – February 16th.

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
    4
  • (1 child0–3 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 (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS611

Incident date

February 15, 2016

Location

النشابية, Al Nashabiya, Damascus, Syria

Geolocation

33.514157, 36.487656 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Shaam News Network reported that “Russian enemy planes launched dozens of raids on the towns of eastern Ghouta” leading to the death of one civilian in Al Nashabiya.

Abu-Muaz Al Dumi also blamed Russia.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Mahmood Al-Lahham Adult male Named by Zaman Masdar and the Damascus Media Office killed

Summary

  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Footage showing the supposed victims of the strike. (via, Douma revolution)

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 makes no public mention of having carried out strikes in Damascus from February 10th – February 16th.

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
    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 (9) [ collapse]