Russian Airstrikes in Syria: September 30, 2015 - October 18, 2015

Key Takeaway: The Russian air campaign in Syria continues to bolster the Syrian regime’s fight against the opposition. Russian warplanes provided air support to regime ground offensives against rebels in Aleppo, Latakia, northern Hama, and Damascus Provinces from October 17-18. Russian airstrikes largely concentrated in the southern Aleppo countryside as regime forces, backed by Iranians, Hezbollah, Iraqi Shi’a militias, and other Iranian proxies, advanced south of Aleppo City. In addition, Russian warplanes heavily targeted rebel positions amidst ongoing regime ground offensives against the rebel-held pocket around the towns of Rastan and Talbiseh in the northern Homs countryside which has been besieged by regime forces since 2012, as well as against rebel forces in the Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus. 

 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.