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

RS044

Incident date

October 15, 2015

Location

تلبيسة, Talbisah, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Five civilians were killed in a heavy airstrike on Talbiseh, according to reports.

Most attributed the attack to Russia, though at least one local report said the strike was the work of Syrian regime aircraft.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (2 women4 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Faraj Al Naji, killed in an alleged Russian and Syrian regime raid on Talbisah, 15th October 2015. (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

Russia made no reference to strikes in Homs for October 15th-16th 2015, despite its aircraft clearly having been filmed in action in the governorate.

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (2 women4 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS045

Incident date

October 15, 2015

Location

الفرحانية, Al Farhaniah, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.8684331, 36.7319298 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Three civilians were reported by al Jazeera as having been killed in a Russian strike on Al Farhaniah – part of a major wave of attacks that day.

However footage of civilians transported to a local hospital described injuries from ‘artillery,’ with Homs News also reporting that regime shelling had targeted the town.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Footage of some of the victims from Al Farhaniah village at a local hospital. The title here says the village was targeted with artillery, 15th October 2015. (via The journalist Suhaib al Ali in Homs)

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 made no reference to strikes in Homs for October 15th-16th 2015, despite its aircraft clearly having been filmed in action in the governorate.

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS043

Incident date

October 15, 2015

Location

الغنطو, Al Ghantu, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.82179, 36.69605 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

An air raid shelter in the village of Al Ghantu was reportedly hit in a Russian airstrike, killing up to 48 people from one extended family. Among the dead were at least 23 children and nine women.

A local cameraman captured the moment the missile from an apparent Russian Air Force Su-24 hit (see below) despite the Kremlin making no reference to airstrikes in the governorate that day. The Arab East Centre noted: “According to sources in the field who saw the shelling, the first missile destroyed the two-storey building, while the second destroyed the shelter beneath the building.”

Early reports placed the number of dead at 17. However Al Jazeera later said up to 48 people had died, all from one extended family, the Al Assafs (or Al Steifs).

A reported survivor described the scene, again to Al Jazeera: “Some 45 people died. Of course they were all women, children and girls. The oldest was a 70 year old woman and the youngest was a month old. There were also pregnant women.”

An Amnesty International investigation later concluded: “There are no indications of any military presence. A weapons expert who analysed the images of the aftermath of the strike told Amnesty International that the nature of the destruction indicated possible use of fuel-air explosives or “vacuum bombs”, which leave a wide destructive “footprint” and can kill humans without causing significant visible injuries. Fuel-air explosives are particularly prone to indiscriminate effects when used in the vicinity of civilians.”

Human Rights Watch concluded that the attack “apparently violated the laws of war.“

Some 45 of the dead have been named by VDC.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    45 – 48
  • (23–33 children9–13 women13 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (14) [ collapse]

  • The moment a purported Russian missile hit al Ghantu, Oct 15th 2015 (Via: Shaam News Network)
  • Footage showing alleged Russian strikes on al Ghintu, October 15th 2015 (Via: Shaam Netowork)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic pictures showing the bodies of the victims of alleged Russian strikes on on the villages of northern Homs countryside, 15th October 2015. (via: @rafiksalkini)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic images of the victims of the alleged Russian strikes on a number of villages in northern Homs 15th October 2015. (via: @rafiksalkini)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic images of the victims of the alleged Russian strikes on a number of villages in northern Homs 15th October 2015. (via: @rafiksalkini)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic images of the victims of the alleged Russian strikes on a number of villages in northern Homs 15th October 2015. (via: @rafiksalkini)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic images of the victims of the alleged Russian strikes on a number of villages in northern Homs 15th October 2015. (via: @rafiksalkini)
  • Abdullah Abdulmouti Assaf, killed in an alleged Russian raid on Al Ghantu, 15th October 2015. (via: VDC)
  • Alaa Issam Assaf, killed in an alleged Russian raid on Al Ghantu, 15th October 2015. (via: VDC)
  • Majed Issam Assaf, killed in an alleged Russian raid on Al Ghantu, 15th October 2015. (via: VDC)
  • Shadi Farhan Assaf, killed in an alleged Russian raid on Al Ghantu, 15th October 2015. (via: VDC)
  • Farhan Shadi Assaf, killed in an alleged Russian raid on Al Ghantu, 15th October 2015. (via: VDC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Abdulqader Salem al-Hajwani, killed in an alleged Russian raid on Al Ghantu, 15th October 2015. (via: VDC)
  • Kazem Rakan Assaf, killed in an alleged Russian raid on Al Ghantu, 15th October 2015. (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

Russia made no reference to strikes in Homs governorate for October 15th-16th 2015: “In the course of the last 24 hours, the Russian aviation group in Syria has continued conducting pinpoint airstrikes against ISIS facilities on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. 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.“

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    45 – 48
  • (23–33 children9–13 women13 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS042

Incident date

October 15, 2015

Location

تيرمعلة, Teir Ma'ala, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.802364, 36.709287 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

As many as 57 civilians were killed in a sequence of Russian airstrikes across Homs governorate. According to reports the attacks were in support of a Syrian regime ground offensive, backed by Iranian troops.

In Teir Ma’ala, up to 23 non-combatants were said to have died alongside militants in a 6am attack. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights later described the victims as including “the Teir Ma’ala operations room commander, 8 citizens and one child” while the Shaam News Network raised the toll to 15, noting that “one of the air strikes targeted a gathering of civilians in front of a bakery in the town near al Nour Mosque, causing dozens of deaths and injuries.” The Syrian Network for Human Rights put the final death toll at 24: “23 civilians, including 2 children and one armed opposition gunman.”

Human Rights Watch concluded that the attack “apparently violated the laws of war.“

The VDC later named 10 of the dead.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    15 – 23
  • (2 children1 woman7 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (9) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Footage showing the injured civilians following warplane raids on Talbissa, 15th October 2015.(via: Shaam News Network)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic photos showing civilians killed as a result of alleged Russian raids on the villages of the northern Homs countryside, 15th October 2015. (via: @rafiksalkini)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo of the one of the victims of an alleged Russian raid on Teir Ma'ala, 15th October 2015. (via @rafiksalkini)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo of the one of the victims of an alleged Russian raid on Teir Ma'ala, 15th October 2015. (via @rafiksalkini)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo of the one of the victims of an alleged Russian raid on Teir Ma'ala, 15th October 2015. (via @rafiksalkini)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo of the one of the victims of an alleged Russian raid on Teir Ma'ala, 15th October 2015. (via @rafiksalkini)
  • Abdulsalam Hammoud killed in an alleged Russian raid on Teir Ma'ala, 15th October 2015. (via, VDC)
  • Rabei Ezzeldeen al-Hammoud killed in an alleged Russian raid on Teir Ma'ala, 15th October 2015. (via, VDC)
  • Abdulellah Ibraheem al-Raheemo killed in an alleged Russian raid on Teir Ma'ala, 15th October 2015. (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

Russia made no reference to strikes in Homs governorate for October 15th-16th 2015, despite its aircraft clearly having been filmed in action (see below event.)

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    15 – 23
  • (2 children1 woman7 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS041

Incident date

October 14, 2015

Location

الزيارة, Al Zeyara, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.66215, 37.5944 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

The Syrian Network for Human Rights named a civilian male who was reported killed by cluster munitions following an alleged Russian airstrike on the town of Al Zeyara.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

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

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Video showing engineers dismantling the cluster bombs that hit the village of Al Zeyara, 16th October 2015. (via Liwa Al Fatah Brigade)

Geolocation notes (1) [ 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 Aleppo governorate on 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…

Summary

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

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS039

Incident date

October 14, 2015

Location

حمورية, Hamouriya, Damascus, Syria

Geolocation

33.52777, 36.38582 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A woman was reported killed in Russia’s first confirmed airstrikes in the vicinity of the Syrian capital Damascus, which struck the suburb of Hamouriya.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

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

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A female victim being pulled out from under the rubble of her home following raids on al Hamouriya a suburb of Damascus, 14th October 2015. (via, Syrian Civil 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

Russia has confirmed strikes in Damascus governorate for October 14th-15th 2015: “In the Eastern Guta region (Damascus province), a fortified fire position of Osa AA missile system, which had been captured by the militants, was destroyed by a Su-34 bomber. Strike with KAB-500 guided bomb caused elimination of concrete fortifications, which used to shelter the AA system. The air defence missile system was eliminated…

Summary

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

Sources (4) [ 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. marker 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

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerents
    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

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

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS038

Incident date

October 13, 2015

Location

تل سلطان, Tall Sultan, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.821376, 36.952131 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Violations Documentation Center named an adult male from the town of Tel Azzan as having been killed in a Russian airstrike on a school building in nearby Tel Sultan, which also reportedly injured two.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerents
    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

For October 12th-13th 2015, Russia reported a number of strikes in Idlib governorate: ” In the course of the last 24 hours, Su-34, Su-24M and Su-25SM aircraft performed 88 combat sorties engaging 86 ISIS facilities located in the Raqqah, Hama, Idlib, Latakia and Aleppo provinces.”

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerents
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]