Saturday, October 31, 2015

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: September 30 - October 30, 2015

By Genevieve Casagrande with Jodi Brignola

Key Takeaway: The Russian air campaign in Syria reportedly expanded into the southern province of Dera’a one month after Russian airstrikes in Syria commenced. Credible local sources reported that Russian warplanes conducted overnight strikes near Tel al-Harra and other nearby villages east of the Golan Heights in Dera’a Province on October 28. Tel al-Harra is the location of a Russian signals intelligence facility, which was seized by rebels in October 2014. These airstrikes follow reports that the Syrian regime and Hezbollah reinforcements arrived in northwestern Dera’a Province on October 27. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) did not release official airstrike reports for October 29-30. However, credible local activist sources continued to report instances of Russian airstrikes throughout Dera’a, Damascus, Homs, Idlib, and Aleppo. Russian airstrikes largely concentrated around rebel-held areas in the northern Homs countryside and within Aleppo City.

The following graphic depicts ISW’s assessment of Russian airstrike locations based on reports from local Syrian activist networks, Syrian state-run media, and statements by Russian and Western officials.

High-Confidence reporting. ISW places high confidence in reports corroborated both by official government statements reported through credible channels and documentation from rebel factions or activist networks on the ground in Syria deemed to be credible.

Low-Confidence reporting. ISW places low confidence in secondary sources that have not been confirmed or sources deemed likely to contain disinformation.