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

RS011

Incident date

October 2, 2015

Location

اللطامنة, Al-Latamnah, Hama, Syria

Geolocation

35.3219885, 36.6234398 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

An alleged Russian airstrike on a field hospital at Al-Latamnah resulted in injuries to a number of medics and severe damage to the building, according to the Syrian Observatory.

Although the Syrian Network for Human Rights described the attack as the work of the Syrian regime, the Russian MoD has confirmed a number of airstrikes on the city that day.

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
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Unknown, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Al Latamnah (اللطامنة‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.3219885, 36.6234398. 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 a number of attacks on Latamnah for October 2nd-3rd 2015, noting: “In Al-Latamna district (Hamah), Su-34 bombers equipped with guided air bombs blew up a militants’ underground HQ. The command centre and its ground facilities are destroyed according to the objective monitoring data. Moreover, Su-25 aircraft engaged two bunkers at the same district. There were situated command centres of militant units and depots of terrorists. Munitions of one of the depots detonated and caused their total destruction.”

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
    0
  • 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 attackers
    Unknown, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS008

Incident date

October 2, 2015

Location

الباب, Al-Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.371972, 37.51631 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

At least 19 civilians and as many as 80 – including children and women – were reported killed in alleged Russian airstrikes on Al Bab.

According to al Jazeera – which placed the death toll as high as 80 with 200 injured – the attacks were carried out by helicopters, most likely Russian Hind-24 gunships. According to the Syrian Network, the town’s vegetable market was hit. Shaam Times placed the civilian death toll at 50.

The city had regularly been targeted by both Assad regime and international Coalition airstrikes, and on October 2nd there were also reports of Assad regime aircraft carrying out other strikes on the city. Enabbaladi reported that “nearly 15 air strikes targeted al Jabal Hospital, and the areas surrounding the Mosque Osama bin Zaid, and Adassat Alzaleq. Also hit were the top of Albugzal street from the eastern end of the city and the Great Mosque and the Mosque of Omar ibn al-Khattab, in addition to the surrounding Association picnic area.“

Enabbaladi also said that Russian Sukhoi aircraft may have targeted the nearby town of Tadeef three times “killing several civilians and wounding others.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    19 – 80
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    200
  • 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 (4) [ 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

The Kremlin made no mention of strikes on al Bab for October 2nd-3rd 2015, although did note other attacks in Idlib governorate: “On October 2, in the course of the day, the Russian air grouping continued making pinpoint strikes at the “Islamic State” international terrorist grouping. Su-34, Su-24M and Su-25 aircraft carried out 14 sorties from the Hmeymim air base attacking 6 ISIS objects. At Maarrat Al-Nuuman (Idlib), Su-25 attack aircraft completely destroyed a large workshop aimed for production of bombs and improvised explosive devices and disguised as a plant for gas cylinders.Terrorist base for armament and military equipment was also eliminated. As a result of an air strike, over ten pieces of military hardware including infantry fighting vehicles were burnt down…

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
    19 – 80
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    200
  • 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 (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS009

Incident date

October 2, 2015

Location

تادف, Tadif, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.34857, 37.531501 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Intense bombardment was reported on the 2nd of October 2016 in and around the province of Aleppo.  In the town of Tadef two people were reported to have been killed as a result raids that were widely blamed on Russia.

Only one source, Sada Islamic, blamed the coalition for the strikes publishing photos of the aftermath.  They were also the only source to mention one victim instead of two.  None of the sources named the victims.

Centcom press release covering the period made no mention of strikes in the area.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • 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, US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Photo showing the aftermath of raids on Tadef and blaming 'Crusader Nusairi Coalition' (via Sada Islamic)
  • Photo showing the aftermath of raids on Tadef and blaming 'Crusader Nusairi Coalition' (via Sada Islamic)
  • Photo showing the aftermath of raids on Tadef and blaming 'Crusader Nusairi Coalition' (via Sada Islamic)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Unknown
  • English
    /
    Original

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
    1 – 2
  • 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, US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS007

Incident date

October 1, 2015

Location

بليون‎, Belyon, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.695922, 36.50804 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Alleged Russian airstrikes on the town of Belyon, near Jabal al Zawiyah in southern Idlib, reportedly killed four civilians including a woman and child. ‘Several others’ were said to have been injured in the attack, some seriously.

SN4HR placed the civilian slightly higher at six deaths, noting that “the town is under the control of the armed opposition in partnership with [al Qaeda affiliate] the Al Nusra Front.“

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 6
  • (1 child1–2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8
  • 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 (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Belyon (بليون‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.695922, 36.508040. 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 Russian MoD did not report any strikes in the dierct vicinity of Belyon for October 1st-2nd 2015, though did note: “Su-25 attack aircraft hit the field base of the ISIS militants near Maarrat Al-Nuuman (Idlib). Terrorist bunkers as well as ammunition and POL depots were completely destroyed. Pinpoint bomb attacks eliminated a facility used by militants as a transshipment base and a large ammunition depot.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 6
  • (1 child1–2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8
  • 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 (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS006

Incident date

October 1, 2015

Location

الهبيط, Al Habeet, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.437757, 36.536166 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

Up to five civilians including one or two children were reported killed in an alleged Russian airstrike at Al Habeet.

The 9pm attack was said to involve high-explosive rockets, and three of the the dead, two men and a child were later named. Another child may also have died in the incident according to some reports.

Raghat’s mother Suheer told the Guardian her daughter had died of her injuries on the way to hospital: “We were supposed to be going home the next day. My husband never saw his daughter again.”

A video released at the time features a civil defence official discussing the attack: “The raid took place around 9pm. We were surprised to see the extent of the destruction as you can see. It is 3 or 4 times what the regime is capable of. We found an entire family, women and children, there are no military in this area… The victims are an old man, and a young man – a teacher – and a little girl and a little boy. As for the injured there are two little girls and an adult woman.”

Asked what message he had for the international community, the rescuer replied: “I don’t have a message to them. They are all enemies of the Syrian people. The Americans, the Russians, they’re with different faces but the death is the same.”

The incident occured at 9:00 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (1)

Family members (1)

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 4
  • (1–2 children2 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 (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of children killed in an alleged Russian strike at al Habeet , Oct 1st 2015 (via SN4HR)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Tweet by Abu Mohammed from the group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently showing one of the victims. (via Abu Mohammed)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Tweet by Abu Mohammed from the group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently showing another of the child victims. (via Abu Mohammed)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Report showing aftermath of the targeting by alleged Russian planes of the town of al Habeet. includes interview with a member of the White Helmets saying the strike took place at 21:00 (via: journalist Hadi Al Abdallah)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Report showing the child victims of the raid on the town of al Habeet. includes interviews with injured children (via: journalist Hadi Al Abdallah)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the town of Al Habeet (الهبيط), for which the general coordinates are: 35.4379459, 36.5379524. Based on satellite imagery in which structural damage can be seen (see below), a possible location of the incident is: 35.437757, 36.536166

  • Structural damage seen on satellite imagery (left: 2 May, 2014; right: 21 February, 2017)

    Imagery:
    © 2021 Google

Unknown Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Unknown

The Russian MoD confirmed carrying out strikes in Idlib governorate on October 1st-2nd 2015: “In the course of the last 24 hours, Su-24M and Su-25 effectuated 18 combat missions attacking 12 ISIS facilities on the territory of Syria. Ten flights were performed at night. Pinpoint attacks engaged 7 terrorist objects… Su-25 attack aircraft hit the field base of the ISIS militants near Maarrat Al-Nuuman (Idlib). Terrorist bunkers as well as ammunition and POL depots were completely destroyed. Pinpoint bomb attacks eliminated a facility used by militants as a transshipment base and a large ammunition depot.“

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 4
  • (1–2 children2 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 (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS004

Incident date

September 30, 2015

Location

المكرمية, Al Makrmeya, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.8671039, 36.7795765 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

The Syrian Network for Human Rights, reported that a Russian airstrike at Al Makrmeya had killed a non-combatant. No other details were given.

VDC named an adult male civilian from Makrameih as having been killed by alleged Russian strikes. They also published a graphic photo of his body.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian 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
    Unknown

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Muhammad Ahmad Alrajab, killed in an alleged Russian raid. (via VDC)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Makrmeya (المكرمية), for which the generic coordinates are: 34.8671039, 36.7795765. 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 Russian MoD has confirmed carrying out airstrikes on September 30th 2015, though did not give precise locations: “Today the Russian aviation, which was located at the Syrian airfield Hmeymim, performed high accuracy strikes against international terrorist organization ISIS. The attack jets with modern armament hit eight facilities, including munition, armament and POL storages, combat vehicles, command and communication posts. All targets have been successfully engaged. The pilots completely destroyed HQ and coordination centers of the ISIS troops located in the mountains.”

Summary

  • Civilian 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
    Unknown

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS005

Incident date

September 30, 2015

Location

جسر الشغور, Jisr al Shughour, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.81425, 36.319812 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that “Allegedly Russian warplanes shelled Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque in Jisr Al Shoughour city, killed one individual and destroyed the mosque completely.” Footage showed the mosque and surrounding houses to be severely damaged, with other reports placing the death toll higher.

Two videos were posted. In one, a rescuer tells the camera: “The man that was killed never carried a gun nor a stick. He’s an old man under the rubble, we’re pulling him out now.” Baladi News reported that five civilians were killed at the mosque.

Amnesty International later published its own findings, concluding that the strike “killed one civilian immediately, mortally wounded another and injured six more; Amnesty International has obtained the names of all eight individuals. According to one eyewitness interviewed by Amnesty International, there were no military casualties and no military targets in the vicinity, with the nearest checkpoint some 500m away.”

The international human rights group also noted: “On 1 October 2015 a Russian Ministry of Defence spokesperson stated that Russia’s air force had targeted IS infrastructure and had destroyed one such command post in Jisr al-Shughour. On 30 October, following the emergence of reports and images showing that the Omar Bin al-Khattab mosque had been destroyed, Colonel-General Andrey Kartapolov stated that such information was a “hoax” and presented a satellite image claiming that the mosque was still intact. However, the satellite image showed a different mosque, not the one destroyed in the attack.”

The incident occured at 12:00 pm local time.

  • Abdul Jaleel al-Khaleel Adult male Died on 27/10/2015 in a Turkish hospital due to wounds sustained in the Russian strike on Omar Bin Khattab mosque killed
  • Marwan Mustafa Child male 17-years-old killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 5
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–8
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Video showing the destruction at Jisr al Shoughour due to suspected Russian strikes. Includes interview with a member of the White Helmets. (via Jissr al Shoughour Media Centre)
  • Video showing the destruction in the mosque. Man shows where the victim was when he was struck saying that he was a civilian fixing the mosque. (via Idlib News Network)

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 confirms carrying out airstrikes on September 30th-October 1st 2015, though did not give precise locations: “Russian Aerospace Forces engaged another four ISIS facilities this night. Su-24M and Su-25 aircraft performed 8 sorties eliminating the staff of terrorist groupings and an ammunition depot near Idlib as well as a three-level HQ centre near Hamah. As a result of a pinpoint bomb attack, a plant aimed for preparation of cars for terrorist attacks located in the north of Homs is completely destroyed.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 5
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–8
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS003

Incident date

September 30, 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

According to SN4HR, Russian actions reportedly killed eight or more civilians – including four children, most from one family – in a further series of strikes as part of the Kremlin’s first day of military action in Syria.

VDC placed the toll at 11 civilian deaths, with its local contact reporting: “Russian warplanes, likely Sukhoi jets, targeted the southern entrance to Rastan city at about 11:30 am, destroying a simple house for civilians of the al-Taweel family, causing the death of six civilians and injuring several others, although the area had no military significance.”

An anonymous local doctor added that “five others passed away after succumbing to their wounds, bringing the death toll up to 11 civilians.”

VDC named 6 of the victims.

According to the Syrian state-run news agency SANA, Russian warplanes targeted a number of “ISIS dens” in Homs, though locals insisted there was no Daesh presence at Al rastan. Russian media made no mention of civilian casualties – with TASS referring only to “pinpoint airstrikes” against what were described as ‘ISIS targets.’

The incident occured at 11:30 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 11
  • (5 children2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    40–50
  • 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 (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Video showing alleged Russian shelling on Al Rastan on 30.09.2015 (via VDC)
  • Russian Ministry of Defence video showing strikes 'against ISIS targets in Syria' on 30.9.2015. (via Russian Ministry of Defence )
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The bodies of a man killed with his three children in al Rastan. The caption here says they were killed by 'Assad's planes'. (Via al Rastan 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

The Russian MoD has confirmed carrying out airstrikes on September 30th 2015, though did not give precise locations: “Today the Russian aviation, which was located at the Syrian airfield Hmeymim, performed high accuracy strikes against international terrorist organization ISIS. The attack jets with modern armament hit eight facilities, including munition, armament and POL storages, combat vehicles, command and communication posts. All targets have been successfully engaged. The pilots completely destroyed HQ and coordination centers of the ISIS troops located in the mountains.”

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
    8 – 11
  • (5 children2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    40–50
  • 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 (11) [ collapse]