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

RS070

Incident date

October 23, 2015

Location

تلبيسة, Talbisah, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Eighteen civilians were killed in heavy airstrikes on Talbiseh, all from the Aloush and Swais families. Nine children were among the dead following at least three air raids. Graphic footage shows bombs being dropped in the centre of the town, followed by desperate rescue operations.

Opinion was divided on whether the attacks were by Russian or Assad regime aircraft. However, footage of an aircraft dropping bombs on the town that day appears to show an Su-22, an aircraft type not used by Russia in Syria at the time of the incident.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (8)

  • Mustafa Adnan Aloush Child male killed
  • Khaled Elwan Aloush Child male killed
  • Adnan Aloush Child male killed
  • Sajide Adnan Aloush Child female killed
  • Khadeje Adnan Aloush Adult female killed
  • Meriam Abdul Razak Aloush Adult female killed
  • Meriam Abdul Kader Aloush Adult female killed
  • Adnan Hasan Aloush Adult male killed

Family members (6)

  • Masoud Saeid Swais Adult male killed
  • Fadi Murhaf Masoud Swais Child male killed
  • Omar Usama Masoud Swais Child male killed
  • Jamal Hmadi Swais Child male killed
  • Shahid Masoud Swais Child female killed
  • Khaled Masoud Swais Child male killed
  • Abdul Kareem al-Daher al-Zuair Adult male killed
  • Nour Ziad al-Dhaik Adult female killed
  • Shaaban Jnaid al-Khalaf Adult male killed
  • Kamal Qasem Erfan Adult male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    18
  • (9 children5 women5 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • Photo of a tweet by @abohafsalhamoe: translation: The death of an entire family made up of 8 people following Russian raids on Talbissa in northern Homs countryside as Friday prayer was cancelled.
  • Photo of @houla-homs. Translation: 6 members from one family /the family of the lawyer Adnan Alloush/ were all martyred in Talbissa, northern Homs countryside 23/10/2015
  • Title: Talbissa 23/10/2015 The martyr the baby Fadi Morhaf Al Soueiss.
  • Title: Talbissa 23/10/2015 very important - the fall of a vacuum missiles near the photographer caused a massacre.
  • Title: the moment warplanes bombed the town of Talbissa in Homs countryside.

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

There is no published Russian Defence Ministry record for October 23rd-24th 2015.

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
    18
  • (9 children5 women5 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS067

Incident date

October 22, 2015

Location

غرناطة, Gharnata, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.89419, 36.67881 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A single source, the Syrian Observatory, reported a man dying from injuries sustained earlier in the day following an alleged Russian airstrike on Gharnata. No other details are presently available.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Gharnata (غرناطة), for which the generic coordinates are: 34.89419, 36.67881. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Unknown Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Unknown

There is no published Russian Defence Ministry record for October 22nd-23rd 2015. while tweets from the MoD again make no mention of Homs.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS068

Incident date

October 22, 2015

Location

الرقة‎, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.949949, 39.007363 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

A wave of night time airstrikes hit a number of civilian objects in the city according to reports, killing seven to eight non-combatants. At least 11 and as many as 40 Daesh militants were also reported killed.

According to the Syrian Observatory, “13 airstrikes targeted places near the Emergency Branch, the Hospitality Palace, Hawd al-Forat building, Balqis School (al- Zakat office), the governorate building, the municipal Stadium, the national hospital and around IS headquarters.” Reuters placed the number of strikes as high as seventeen.

A taxi was destroyed outside the city’s main Al Hayat hospital, killing all those inside the vehicle and badly damaging a nearby civilian house. Civilian Abd al Kareem Mohammad al Ghaffan was among those killed.

A Daesh propaganda video shows major damage to a civilian street, with numerous houses, shops and vehicles destroyed.

In the chaos following the strikes, Raqaa is Being Slaughtered reported: “News emerged that a number of prisoners had escaped Point 11, formerly the municipal stadium. IS then imposed a security cordon around the area and started search operations for those who managed to run.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Abd al Kareem Mohammad al Ghaffan Adult male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 8
  • (2 children1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    50
  • 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 (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Clearing up after a wave of deadly Russian airstrikes on Raqqah, Oct 22 2015 (via RBSS)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

There is no published Russian Defence Ministry record for October 22nd-23rd 2015. However in a possible link, images published the following morning show combat aircraft taking off for night operations.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 8
  • (2 children1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    50
  • 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 (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS065

Incident date

October 21, 2015

Location

رسم حمام, Rasim al Hammam, Hama, Syria

Geolocation

35.41304, 37.15712 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Three civilians – a woman and two girls – were reported killed and ‘many wounded’ after an alleged Russian airstrike on a former school in which internally displaced civilians were said to be sheltering.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • 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 (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Scene of alleged Russian airstrike at Oct 21st 2015, which killed 3 civilians (via Syria Press Centre)
  • Video via the Russian MoD
  • Translation: warplanes causes massacre in Rasim Al Hamam by targeting school. (via revolutionari11)

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 Defence Ministry confirmed carrying out strikes in Hama governorate for October 21st-22nd 2015: “For the last 24 hours, the Russian Su-34, Su-24M, Su-25SM aircraft performed 53 combat sorties engaging 72 terrorist facilities in the Hama, Idlib, Lattakia, Damascus, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor provinces.”

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
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • 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 (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS066

Incident date

October 21, 2015

Location

أبو خنادق, Abu al Khanadak, Hama, Syria

Geolocation

35.406795, 37.199541 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

Six people were killed – including four women – following an alleged Russian strike on civilian homes at Abu al Khanadak. The dead were later named by VDC.

Images obtained by Shaam showed significant damage at the site.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (1)

  • Tamader Mohammad Abd al-Qader al-Dandan Adult female killed

Family members (1)

  • Faten Ahmad Abd al-Qader al-Dandan Adult female killed

Family members (1)

  • Abd al-Hai Ahmad Abd al-Qader al-Dandan Adult male killed
  • Radwan Rajab Al Mohamad Adult male killed
  • Zaeilah Faraj al Yousef Adult female killed
  • Najmeh Hosain al-Khaled Adult female killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (4 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
    Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Rescuers at scene of alleged Russian strike at Abuu, Oct 21 2015 (via SNN)
  • Rescuers at scene of alleged Russian strike at Abuu, Oct 21 2015 (via SNN)
  • Rescuers at scene of alleged Russian strike at Abuu, Oct 21 2015 (via SNN)
  • Photos from SNN of the aftermath of the bombing of Russian planes of civiian homes in Abu Al Khanadeq in the eastern countryside.

Geolocation notes (7) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that up to six people were killed in an airstrike in the village of Abu al Khanadak (أبو خنادق) in Hama. After investigating visual material from sources, we narrowed this location down to a compound on the northwest outskirts of the village, for which the exact coordinates are: 35.406795, 37.199541.

  • Image from scene showing dense trees adjacent to building targeted in strike.

    Imagery:
    SNN

  • The groups of trees marked B, C, and D are progressively farther away from the viewpoint of the camera.

    Imagery:
    SNN

  • Although it's barely visible, the features marked F is a road leading away from the village.

    Imagery:
    SNN

  • The dense trees adjacent to the targeted building and the concrete roof are seen here in a satellite image.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Satellite imagery shows the trees from the on-the-ground photo in a staggered pattern.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • The road barely visible in the witness image is seen here in an overhead shot. The compound targeted in the strike is to the bottom left of the red box.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Satellite image showing a close-up of the home targeted in the strike.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Unknown Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Unknown

The Russian Defence Ministry confirmed carrying out strikes in Hama governorate for October 21st-22nd 2015: “For the last 24 hours, the Russian Su-34, Su-24M, Su-25SM aircraft performed 53 combat sorties engaging 72 terrorist facilities in the Hama, Idlib, Lattakia, Damascus, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor provinces.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (4 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
    Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS064

Incident date

October 20, 2015

Location

الرهجان, Al Rahjan, Hama, Syria

Geolocation

35.40476, 37.42951 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

The VDC lists four unidentified civilian males as having been killed by “Russian air force shelling” at Al Rahjan in Hama. Other sourcing is weak, with the Syrian state news agency Sana attributing the attack to Assad regime aircraft, while Al Watan mentions only ‘aircraft.’

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • 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, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Rahjan (الرهجان), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.40476, 37.42951. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Unknown Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Unknown

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

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime 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
    4
  • 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, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS062

Incident date

October 20, 2015

Location

كفر تخاريم, Kafr Takharim, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

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

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

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

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

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

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

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

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

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

Summary

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

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS063

Incident date

October 20, 2015

Location

الرستن‬, Ar Rastan, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.93, 36.74 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

A number of civilians were reported injured, after a midnight Russian air raid on the headquarters of a local rebel faction based in Ar Rastan. Two fighters were confirmed killed. one of whom was originally reported to have been a non-combatant.

According to Sin News, the air raid “resulted in the collapse of the entire headquarters and the killing of one person, as well as the injuring of nearby civilians and the collapse of residential buildings.”

 

The incident occured after midnight.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Ar Rastan, for which the generic coordinates are: 34.93, 36.74. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Unknown Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Unknown

The Kremlin made no reference to strikes in Homs in its report for October 20th-21st 2015.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]