Syria

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: September 30 - October 14

Russia’s involvement in Syria is facilitating ISIS’s territorial gains, while also strengthening Assad. Russia is supporting the Syrian regime’s offensives in Latakia, the al-Ghab Plain, and northern Hama. Russia also intensified strikes on rebel-held northwestern Aleppo, likely to set conditions for an imminent Russian-Iranian-Syrian regime offensive in the area.

Joint Syrian-Iranian-Russian Offensive Achieves Only Limited Initial Gains

Key Takeaway: The Syrian regime has not gained much terrain in the first week of its large-scale ground offensive against rebel forces, despite support from intensified Russian airstrikes and hundreds of Iranian proxy reinforcements. Operations against the Syrian opposition will likely prove harder and slower than anticipated by either Russia or Iran, protracting the conflict and exacerbating extremism.

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: September 30 - October 12, 2015

Key Takeaway: The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) continued to ramp up its aerial campaign in Syria, claiming to conduct 250 “combat sorties” from October 9-12. This spike in Russian military activity is a notable escalation compared to the 20 “combat sorties” flown on October 8. Most Russian airstrikes continued to concentrate in northwestern Hama province in support of a large-scale regime offensive in the area.

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: September 30 - October 9, 2015

Key Takeaway: The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian warplanes conducted 67 “combat missions” throughout Syria on October 9, marking the largest number of Russian airstrikes in Syria on a single day since September 30. Russian airstrikes continued to largely concentrate in rebel-held areas of northwestern Syria from October 8-9.

Syrian Opposition Guide

This reference guide provides a baseline for identifying Syrian opposition groups. The guide aims to permit researchers to track how groups realign as the Russians commence operations. It seeks to inform the development of policies that aim to protect Syrian rebels willing to cooperate with the U.S. in order to defeat ISIS and marginalize al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.

Syrian Opposition Guide

This reference guide provides a baseline for identifying Syrian opposition groups. The guide aims to permit researchers to track how groups realign as the Russians commence operations. It seeks to inform the development of policies that aim to protect Syrian rebels willing to cooperate with the U.S. in order to defeat ISIS and marginalize al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: September 30, 2015 - October 5, 2015

Russian airstrikes continue to primarily target Syrian opposition groups throughout northwestern Syria, including areas along the Turkish border in northern Latakia Province. Russian warplanes violated Turkish airspace and harassed Turkish F-16s in at least two separate incidents over Hatay Province of southern Turkey on October 3 and 4, prompting an emergency NATO meeting.

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: September 30-October 1, 2015

Russia conducted a second round of airstrikes in Syria on October 1, targeting rebel-held positions in the provinces of Homs, Idlib, and Aleppo. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has repeatedly claimed that the airstrikes are targeting ISIS positions in these rebel-held areas. These airstrikes are the first Russian strikes confirmed by the Russian MoD that have targeted positions in ISIS-held terrain.

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