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
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents

Incident Code

RS1422

Incident date

October 9, 2016

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

Local media reported that an alleged Russian airstrike on the suburb Douma in Damascus wounded several civilians, though there were no claims of fatalities.

According to the Shaam News Network, “Russian warplanes raids in both eastern and western Ghouta caused fires but no reports of civilian casualties. Activists said there were two raids in the center of Douma and one on the edges near Shifonia, which caused fires”.

Several sources noted the use of the internationally banned phosphor and napalm.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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 Military

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • Fires in residential homes due to the use of phosphor and napalm bombs in Douma. (via SCD Rif-Dimashq)
  • Fires in residential homes due to the use of phosphor and napalm bombs in Douma. (via SCD Rif-Dimashq)
  • Fires in residential homes due to the use of phosphor and napalm bombs in Douma. (via SCD Rif-Dimashq)
  • Fires in residential homes due to the use of phosphor and napalm bombs in Douma. (via SCD Rif-Dimashq)
  • Fires in residential homes due to the use of phosphor and napalm bombs in Douma. (via SMO)
  • Fires in residential homes due to the use of phosphor and napalm bombs in Douma. (via CDS)

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Russian Military

Russia has not reported any strikes between October 1st – 19th 2016.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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 Military

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS4350

Incident date

January 23, 2020

Location

ارنبة, Arinba, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

Three civilians, a mother and her two children were killed and another child was injured in alleged Russian airstrikes on the village of Arinba, Idlib governorate, in the night between January 22nd 2020 and January 23rd 2020, according to local sources.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that it had “documented the death of three civilians of the same family (a boy, a girl and a woman) as a result of airstrikes carried out this morning by Russian jets” on the village, which is located in Jabal Al Zawiya. The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that the incident targeted Al Gharbi neighbourhood in the village. According to @osama_sy87 another girl was also injured.

According to the Syrian Civil Defence, the Russian strikes targeted a residential neighbourhood in the village around midnight. The BBC News reported that the Syrian Civil Defense told them that “a woman and her two children were killed in a village of Arnabeh after midnight.” Macro Media Center and Step News, however, reported that the incident occurred at dawn. Step News added that the family was sleeping when the incident occured.

Shaam News Network reported that the strikes hit the house of the family, killing the mother and two of her children, and injuring the rest of the family.

The incident occured between 12:00 am and 6:00 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military

Sources (41) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (11) [ collapse]

  • Syrian Civil Defence volunteers looking for victims and survivors underneath the rubble after alleged Russian airstrikes on the village of Arinba on January 23rd, 2020 (via SCD).
  • Syrian Civil Defence volunteers carrying a body after alleged Russian airstrikes on the village of Arinba on January 23rd, 2020 (via SCD).
  • Syrian Civil Defence volunteers looking for victims and survivors underneath the rubble after alleged Russian airstrikes on the village of Arinba on January 23rd, 2020 (via @ShahbaPress).
  • Damaged house after alleged Russian airstrike on the village of Arinba, Idlib governorate, on January 23rd, 2020 (via EMC).
  • Destruction after alleged Russian airstrike on the village of Arinba, Idlib governorate, on January 23rd, 2020 (via EMC).
  • Civilians in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrike on the village of Arinba, Idlib governorate, on January 23rd, 2020 (via EMC).
  • Damaged house after alleged Russian airstrike on the village of Arinba, Idlib governorate, on January 23rd, 2020 (via EMC).
  • Destruction after alleged Russian airstrike on the village of Arinba, Idlib governorate, on January 23rd, 2020 (via EMC).
  • "Now, with these moments, Russian warplanes target Tel al-Nabi Ayoub and the village of Arnaba in Jabal al-Zawiya in the southern countryside of Idlib The raids have so far resulted in the death of a girl and a woman, and several injuries in the village of Arnabeh"

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military

Sources (41) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS4391

Incident date

February 2, 2020

Location

أورم الكبرى, Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

Up to three civilians were reported killed and up to ten injured in alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020.

Among other sources, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SN4HR) identified the civilians who were killed by the attack as Hamzah Mustafa al NajibAbdul Salam Al Ghdab and Essam Abdel-Latif. While @SY_plus reported that only two civilians were killed and five others were injured, the majority of sources, such as @fawaz_jwaid, claimed that three civilians had been killed in total, and another ten had been injured.

Most sources blame the attack on Russian airforces. SN4HR claimed that the attack was conducted by “fixed wing warplanes”. According to @Sentry_Syria, Russian warplanes were seen around 11:35. @abo_aljod84 specified further that two missiles were fired.

SCD Aleppo reported that the strikes destroyed a “housing association”. The Syrian Civil Defense inspected the location in the aftermath.

Photographs show significant material damage to vehicles and buildings in addition to the loss of life. Video footage shows at least one casualty lying on the ground when the Syrian Civil Defense arrived, and another casualty being recuperated from under a truck.

The incident occured at 11:35:00 local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–10
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military

Sources (33) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (27) [ collapse]

  • Significant material destruction to buildings in Urma Al Kubra following alleged Russian strikes on February 2nd (via @ShahbaPress)
  • A building completely destroyed in Urma Al Kubra following suspected Russian airstrikes, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • Photograph reveals serious material destruction in Urma Al Kubra following suspected Russian airstrikes, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • Local people in the destroyed streets of Urma Al Kubra after suspected Russian airstrikes on February 2nd (via MMC)
  • A member of The White Helmets surveys the location of alleged Russian airstrike on Urma Al Kubra, February 2nd (via SCDAleppo)
  • The White Helmets at the scene in Urma Al Kubra in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on Urma Al Kubra, February 2nd (via SCDAleppo)
  • A member of the White Helmets makes their way down a street in Urma Al Kubra after suspected Russian airstrikes, February 2nd (vis SCDAleppo)
  • A street in Urma al Kubra following the alleged Russian airstrikes, February 2nd (via SCDAleppo)
  • A White Helmet amongst the rubble in Urma Al Kubra after suspected Russian airstrike, February 2nd (via SCD Aleppo)
  • Significant material destruction to buildings in Urma Al Kubra after suspected Russian airstrikes, February 2nd (via SCDAleppo)
  • A White Helmet at the scene in Urma Al Kubra following suspected Russian airstrikes, February 2nd (via SCDAleppo)
  • A car destroyed and covered in dust following suspected Russian airstrikes on Urma Al Kubra, February 2nd (via SCDAleppo)
  • A journalist reporting from the ground in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020.
  • Civilians next to a destroyed building in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020. (via WM_FREESYR)
  • A destroyed building in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020. (via WM_FREESYR)
  • A destroyed pick-up in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020. (via WM_FREESYR)
  • A destroyed building in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020. (via WM_FREESYR)
  • The interior of a destroyed shop in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020. (via @RamahKasem)
  • A White Helmet volunteer in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020. (via @RamahKasem)
  • A destroyed building in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020. (via @RamahKasem)
  • A White Helmet volunteer walking on rubble in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020. (via @RamahKasem)
  • The White Helmets arriving in an ambulance, while one killed civilian is lying on the ground in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020.
  • The Syrian Civil Defense during their rescue operation, and civilians being interviewed in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020.
  • A White Helmet volunteer rescuing a male civilian in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020. (via @fawaz_jwaid)
  • Civilians and White Helmet volunteers are recuperating a casualty from under a large vehicle in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020.
  • A male casualty crushed to death by a vehicle in the aftermath of alleged Russian airstrikes on the town Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, on February 2nd, 2020. (via Hibr Press)

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–10
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military

Sources (33) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS4394

Incident date

February 2, 2020

Location

بلدات متعددة, Several towns , Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

A single source, Shaam News Network, reported civilian harm across a series of strikes in towns in Aleppo. The source alleged both Russia and the Syrian Regime responsible.

According to the source, attacks took place on the towns “Darat Azza, Zorba, Zitan, Qanater, Kamari, Arnaz, Urm al-Kubra, Atarib, First Engineers Country, Maarat al-Atariq, Sheikh Ali, Qebtan, Salloum, Ainjara and Kafr Hamra”.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime, Russian Military

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Syrian Regime Assessment:

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

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime, Russian Military

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS4444

Incident date

February 13–14, 2020

Location

قبتان الجبل, Qubtan Al Jabal, Aleppo , Syria

Airwars assessment

One woman was reported killed and eight others including five children injured, originally from Aleppo’s southern countryside residing in Qabtan Al Jabal in Aleppo’s western countryside when allegedly Russian forces or Syrian regime airstrikes targeted the town on the night between Feb 13th and 14th, 2020, according to local sources.

The Syrian Civil Defence reported “the death of a woman from the village of Al-Othmania, south of Aleppo, and the injury of eight others, most of them from the southern countryside of Aleppo, who were displaced to the town of # Qubtan_jabal in the western countryside of Aleppo, as a result of the Russian warplanes targeting the town last night with six raids on February 13th, 2020.”

A Facebook post from Jiyraza Sons reported that the civilians that were injured sustained minor and moderate injuries.

@ShahbaPress said that casualties belong to the same family, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that “Russian warplanes carried out airstrikes targeting homes in the town of Qubtan al-Jabal near the Turkish point in Jabal Aqil, west of Aleppo, wounding an entire family.”

Al Jazeera, Our Syria News, and Syrian television each used social media to announce that eight civilians had been wounded, including five children. Each of the injured were displaced from their homes and living in Qubtan Al Jabal.  Syria HR News reported that a woman had been killed, along with the eight wounded, but no names were released.

Syria HR News reported that homes were struck during the raid that killed one woman and injured eight other civilians. @AJABreaking added that the raid occurred near the Turkish point in Jabal Aqil.

@ShahbaPress, SMART Agency, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian Civil Defence and Bawaba Aleppo accused Russia of this incident, while Step Agency blamed both Russia and the regime. @so_ria98 identified “high-explosive missiles” as being used in the attack.

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (28) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • One of the children reported injured in alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes on Qabtan Al Jabal in Aleppo on Feb 13th-14th, 2020. (via SCD).
  • One of the children reported injured in alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes on Qabtan Al Jabal in Aleppo on Feb 13th-14th, 2020. (Posted by Jiyraza sons via Facebook).
  • A man injured in alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes on Qabtan Al Jabal in Aleppo on Feb 13th-14th, 2020. (Posted by Jiyraza sons via Facebook).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the children reported injured in alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes on Qabtan Al Jabal in Aleppo on Feb 13th-14th, 2020. (Posted by Jiyraza sons via Facebook).

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (28) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R4239

Incident date

February 24, 2020

Location

كفرنبل, Kafranbel, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

One civilian was reported killed and others injured in alleged Russian airstrikes on Kafr Nubul in Idlib, Syria on February 24th, 2020, according to local sources.

Step Agency reported that “A civilian was killed and others wounded by a Russian airstrike on the city of Kafr Nabl in the southern Idlib countryside.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS3294

Incident date

March 17, 2018

Location

كفر نبودة, Kafar Nabouda, Hama, Syria

Geolocation

35.429388, 36.49078 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Four civilians were reported injured in alleged Russian forces or Syrian regime airstrikes on Kafr Nbouda in Hama, Syria on March 17th, 2018 according to local sources.

7al.net said that “four civilians were injured when Russian warplanes launched two missiles on the town of Kafar Nbouda (opposition-held in the northern countryside of Hama).”

“According to Enab Baladi, Kafr Nbouda “town was hit with four raids by Russian warplanes, leaving four lightly injured, in addition to material damage.”

SMART Agency said that “four civilians were wounded on Friday night by a bombardment of warplanes likely to be Russian on the town of Kfar Nabuda, 40 km northwest of Hama city in central Syria.” “Local activists said that the wounded were lightly injured and taken to a hospital in Idlib for treatment. They were wounded when the aircraft carried out four raids targeting residential neighborhoods, followed by artillery shelling of the regime forces from their surrounding locations.”

Enab baladi, Al Etihad Press, 7al.ent, Micro Syria, Step Agency and SMART Agency blamed Russia, while @B_ALHAMAWI blamed the Syrian regime for this incident.

 

The incident occured around midnight.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS3880

Incident date

July 9, 2019

Location

جسر الشغور, Jisr Al Shughour, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

On July 20th, 2019, a woman died of injuries she sustained in alleged Syrian regime artillery shelling or a Russian airstrike on the city of Jisr Al Shughour, Idlib governorate, on July 9th, according to local sources.

@Step_Agency reported: “A missile attack by the regime forces in Jurin targeted the city of Jisr Al Shughour in the western countryside of Idlib, wounding a woman.”

@dored1pash reported that the woman Sumaya Khaled Al Hamoud was wounded “as the Assad militia bombed the city of Jisr Al Shughour with several artillery shells from the Jurin camp shortly before.” On July 20th, Hadi Kharrat wrote in a post on Facebook that the woman died of her injuries she sustained in the artillery shelling.

While nearly all sources reported that artillery shelling by the Syrian regime, Step News also on July 20th: “A woman was killed when she was wounded by Russian warplanes bombing the city of Jisr Al Shughour a few days ago.” It is unclear if this refers to the same incident on July 9th. Hence, the civilian harm status for this incident is graded as weak.

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)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime 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)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]