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

RS028

Incident date

October 8, 2015

Location

بليون, Balyoun, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.696091, 36.504654 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Six people were reported killed at Balyoun due to warplane shelling. VDC named one woman as a victim of the strike.

Smart News later posted a video showing a civilian clear-up operation in the village. One witness noted: “Here there were six martyrs, two from the village of Balian and four displaced from Sahil Al Ghab. Are these the terrorists? There were two women, two children and two older men over 60 or 70 years old. We don’t have any armed elements either in the bombed area or outside of it. Russian planes are using around 8 bombs for each raid. We could tell it was Russian planes via some sources. The pilot was speaking Russian.”

Another witness said “I suddenly saw a red line descend from the sky to the ground. It struck just 100 meters this way and then they came back and struck this way killing lots of people.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (2 children2 women2 men)
  • 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 (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

Russia reported a total of 22 lethal sorties for October 8th 2015, although made no mention of Idlib governorate.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (2 children2 women2 men)
  • 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 (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS026

Incident date

October 7, 2015

Location

بابيلا, Babilla, Hama, Syria

Geolocation

35.699785, 36.72952 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A father and his three children were among those reported killed in an alleged Russian airstrike on Babilla, along with four other children, three of whom were named by the Syrian Network for Human Rights.

Eyewitness Moustafa Ghareeb told the Syrian Network: “The Russian shelling occurred 7 kilometres away from Marat Al Nu’man, at Babilla crossroads on the international road between Damascus and Aleppo. I rushed to the shelling site and saw the destruction in the pickles factory which was greatly damaged. A number of employees were injured and others were killed. Also, I heard about the death of a family that was crossing the international road at the moment of the shelling.”

The attacks were part of a massive reported Russian bombardment across two governorates. Speaking with Al Aan, rebel spokesman Mahmoud Al Hamoui said: “Since this morning we have seen an incredible number of strikes on the northern countryside of Hama, more than a 100 missile fired in less than 15 minutes and in total we have seen more than 300 missiles fired on the northern countryside of Hama until now. The Russians have carried out more than 20 raids on the towns of Latamna, Kafr Zita and Kafr Nboudi, and while these raids are taking place ground forces have tried to get through the Hama countryside from more than ten fronts where the Russian and regime militias fought the rebels. More than 100 regime and allied forces were killed and 20 vehicles destroyed.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Ammar Ibrahim Hajj Ibrahim Child male named in SN4HR report dated November 2nd 2015 killed
  • Salah Jomaa Al Deiri Child male named in SN4HR report dated November 2nd 2015 killed
  • Madhi Bin Hassan Dergham Child male named in SN4HR report dated November 2nd 2015 killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 9
  • (4–7 children1 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]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Tweet reports alleged Russian raids on the town of Babilla in the northern Maarat al Numan countryside, Idlib, 7th October 2015. (via mashrou' shahid)
  • News bulletin reporting that at least four civilians were killed and 5 were injured in the raids by "Russian fighter jets" on the town of Babilla, 7th October 2015. (via, al Aan TV)

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 any airstrikes in Hama governorate in its report for October 7th 2015.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 9
  • (4–7 children1 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

RS025

Incident date

October 7, 2015

Location

دارة عزة, Darat Izza, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.28247, 36.85216 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

A mother and her two children were killed along with another woman in a suspected Russian cruise missile strike on the town of Darat Izza.

Amnesty International later reported: “More than six residential buildings with at least a dozen homes were destroyed by the attack according to an eyewitness interviewed by Amnesty International as well as reports of human rights organisations. Information provided by local human rights defenders, Syrian human rights organisations and video clips of the aftermath of the attack reviewed by Amnesty International indicated that there was widespread destruction and damage but no military casualties nor any armed presence in the town.”

The dead were later named by Al Kanana Hospital and VDC.

Russia claimed ‘civilian objects were not damaged‘ by 26 cruise missiles fired that day.  According to Amnesty, “The Ministry of Defence did not clarify the exact locations of the strikes, but a map in a video that it released indicates that one of the strike points was in or in the immediate vicinity of Darat Izza. Weapons experts advised Amnesty International that images of remnants of the missile indicated that it was of a model used by the Russian navy, a Novatur 3M14 Kalibr-NK.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

  • Lina al-Loudaama Adult female killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 5
  • (2 children2 women)
  • 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 (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Talal Mohammad Bazar, shortly before his death from injuries sustained in an alleged Russian airstrike, Darat Izza Oct 7th 2015 (via al Kanana Hospital)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Safa Mohammad Bazaz, killed in an alleged Russian strike Darat Izza Oct 7th 2015 (via al Kanana Hospital)
  • 'Fragment of a Russian cruise missile' recovered at Darat Izza October 7th 2015 (via Amnesty)

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 specific reference to strikes in Aleppo for October 7th 2015.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 5
  • (2 children2 women)
  • 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 (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS024

Incident date

October 7, 2015

Location

معصران, Ma'asaran, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.70683, 36.802053 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

An alleged Russian airstrike killed seven civilians at Ma’asaran in Idlib governorate. Most of those who died were from one family. A neighbour told Smart News: “This is my house, I arrived and I found everyone OK. But our neighbours? May God have mercy on them. I went to pray and then went to the shop.Ten minutes later Russian planes came and bombed.”

The Syrian Observatory put the death toll at seven, including three women and two children. The dead were later named as by VDC.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 7
  • (2 children2–3 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • 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 (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Footage showing rescuers pulling bodies from under the rubble in Ma'asaran, 7th October 2015. (via, Mua'ath al Shami)
  • Aftermath of raids by warplanes alleged to be Russian, Ma'asaran, 7th October 2015. (via, SO4HR)
  • Aftermath of strikes by warplanes alleged to be Russian, Ma'asaran, 7th October 2015. (via, SO4HR)
  • Injured following strike by warplanes alleged to be Russian., Ma'asaran, 7th October 2015. (via, SO4HR)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

While making no specific mention of Ma’asaran, the Russian MoD confirmed multiple strikes in Idlib for October 7th 2015: “In Idlib, a Su-24M aircraft made a strike against an ISIS terrorist training ground. Objecting monitoring data registered multiple explosions of munitions. The training base aimed for the preparation of terrorists is eliminated. A pair of Su-25 attack aircraft attacked an ISIS terrorist field camp also in Idlib. The air strike resulted in destruction of numerous buildings and constructions used by terrorists for storage of explosives, as well as logistic and food supplies.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 7
  • (2 children2–3 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • 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 (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS023

Incident date

October 7, 2015

Location

جبل الزاوية (ابلين), Jabal al Zawiya, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.71345, 36.52933 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

According to the Syrian Observatory, Russian aircraft targeted a number of locations in Idlib governorate on October 7th including “Khan Shekhon, al-Tama’a, and al-Habeet in the southern countryside of Idlib, and other areas of Ehsim and al-Bara in the Zawyia mount [area].”

As many as 10 non-combatants may have died at five different locations. However casualty reporting remains confused. TRT Arabic reported that “Russian aircraft dropped cluster bombs on [al Habeet] town, killing six people, wounding 10 most of whom were civilians.” However VDC identified only one person killed in Habeet, named as an FSA combatant. Syrian Network for Human Rights instead said a ten year old boy,  died in the town – but that he was killed by Assad regime artillery fire.

At al Zawiya, an unidentified adult female was reported by VDC as having been killed; an adult male was reported slain at Kansaefreh; and another one was reported killed at Khan Sheikhoun.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Abdul Hameid Abu Ras Child male Named as a 10 year old victim by SN4HR. Killed in al Habeet, Idlib by regime artillery killed
  • Ibraheem Abdullah al-Dani Adult male Named as a victim by VDC. Killed in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib by Russian airstrikes. killed
  • Muhannad Taqi el-Dein al-Bakour Adult male Named as a victim by VDC. Killed in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib by Russian airstrikes. killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 9
  • (1 child1 woman2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Missile fragments recovered at al Bara, Idlib, Oct 7th 2015 (via SOHR)
  • Missile fragments recovered in the area between the towns of al Bara and Ihsim in al Zawiya mount. Oct 7th 2015 (via SOHR)
  • Missile fragments recovered in the area between the towns of al Bara and Ihsim in al Zawiya mount. Oct 7th 2015 (via SOHR)
  • Missile fragments recovered in the area between the towns of al Bara and Ihsim in al Zawiya mount. Oct 7th 2015 (via SOHR)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The child Abdul Hameid Abu Ras from Habeet, Idlib, aged 10, killed in alleged Syrian government artillery fired on the town. October 7th, 2015 (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

The Russian MoD confirmed multiple strikes in Idlib for October 7th 2015: “In Idlib, a Su-24M aircraft made a strike against an ISIS terrorist training ground. Objecting monitoring data registered multiple explosions of munitions. The training base aimed for the preparation of terrorists is eliminated.

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
    3 – 9
  • (1 child1 woman2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS021 CS134

Incident date

October 6, 2015

Location

تدمر, Palmyra, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.5655244, 38.2873535 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

According to the Syrian Observatory, “preliminary information reported the death of civilians – including women and children – in the bombing by Russian warplanes on areas at the eastern outskirts of Palmyra city which is controlled by the ‘Islamic State’.”

According to most sources, between 12 and 14 members of two Bedouin families died, including five children and four women. Russian aircraft reportedly targeted the Al Wadi Al Ahmar [Red Valley] residential area in the east of the city.

The Violations Documentation Center said 15 civilian males were killed, though did not identify any by name. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights instead said 15 Daesh fighters died alongside civilians.

A Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying “We do not hit populated areas .. especially those with antiquities” when asked whether Russia had carried out strikes at Palmyra. Repeated Russian strikes have since targeted the city according to reports.

It remains possible the action was instead by the US-led Coalition, which publicly reported airstrikes at Palmyra on October 1st, 4th, 9th and 10th 2015.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 15
  • (5 children4 women)
  • 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, US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Interview with activist confirming that Russian strikes targeted Palmyra. No further details of any casualties, 6th October 2015. (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

As noted above, Russia explicitly denied carrying out strikes at Palmyra. No Russian airstrikes were publicly reported in Homs governorate for October 6th 2015.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The Coalition did no report any strikes in Palmyra for October 5th-7th 2015.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 15
  • (5 children4 women)
  • 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, US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ 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

RS020 CS133

Incident date

October 6, 2015

Location

عندان, Anadan, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.29353, 37.04466 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Two children and a 46 year old male were reported killed during four alleged Russian strikes in the evening on Anadan. Another man was also named as a victim by VDC. Eyewitnesses described at least one secondary, or ‘double tap’ strike.

A local medic told Qassioun: “Between the afternoon and evening Russian planes carried out intensive raids on areas in the northern Aleppo countryside which led to dozens of injured and three deaths. One of the martyrs is a ten year old boy, a young man of 17 years old and a 40 year old man. The injuries are very serious.”

Smart TV showed footage of Russian aircraft which it said was filmed near Aleppo: “Spotted at 17:30 in the evening, for the first time, one of the Russian planes in the sky of the city of Aleppo on their way to carry out raids on the villages and towns of the countryside.”

And Ibrahim Kharfan, a rebel in the town, insisted only civilian areas were being targeted: “The Russians are claiming, along with the regime and all those supporting this rotten regime they are claiming they are targeting [military] bases. We are here in Anadan and everything you see here is civilian houses. All the bombing now is being directed at civilians’ houses.”

While there was near consensus that Russia was responsible, VDC continues to list both boys as having been killed in a US-led Coalition strike.

 

The incident occured at 5:30 pm local time.

  • Mohammad Amin al-Sageer Adult male He was 46 years old and VDC says he was killed due to Russian strikes killed
  • Amin al-Sageer Adult male killed
  • Abd al-Rahman al-Sageer Child male He was 10 years old and VDC says he was killed due to coalition shelling killed
  • Ahmad Othman Hamidi Child male He was 17 years old and VDC says he was killed due to coalition shelling killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children2 men)
  • 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, US-led Coalition

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • A video reporting four alleged Russian raids on the town of Anadan on, 6th October 2015. (via, The Syrian Civil Defence)
  • Footage reporting that Russian planes targeted Anadan in Aleppo for the first time, 6th October 2015. (via Arabs in Turkey)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The body of one of the children, Abed Al Rahman al Sageer, killed in the raid on Anadan, 6th October 2015. (via, VDC)
  • News bulletin reporting that 4 Russian raids on Anadan had caused deaths and injuries. One eyewitness reports that two brothers were killed in the raid. [Via: Al Aan news]

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

Although Russia reported 20 combat sorties for October 6th 2015, no reference was made to strikes in Aleppo governorate. The Russian MoD also intimated that opposition forces were faking reports of civilian casualties: “It cannot be ruled out that now terrorists are intentionally preparing acts of provocation such as detonation of mosques in order to demonstrate fake photos and videos to indict the Russian aviation.”

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children2 men)
  • 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, US-led Coalition

Sources (11) [ collapse]