Syria Report: Russia’s Attacks on Civilians, Including Cruise Missiles and Cluster Bombs


PHOTO: Civilians recover belonging from building hit by Russian strike on Darat Izza in Aleppo Province, October 7, 2015 (Reuters)

The Violations Documentation Center, the leading source for civilian casualties in Syria’s conflict, has released a new report covering the first phase of Russia’s airstrikes from September 30 to October 30.

The report details 24 attacks and lists the civilian victims, including women and children, in areas held by the opposition. It notes that “more than 90% of Russian attacks” were on locations outside the control of the Islamic State, the supposed focus of Russian operations. These included areas in Latakia, Hama, Idlib, and Aleppo Province and the suburbs of Damascus.

The VDC verified at least 526 civilian deaths, including 137 children and 71 women. In a single incident on October 30, at least 61 civilians were killed in opposition-held neighborhoods in eastern Aleppo city.

The report lists another 81 claimed attacks on civilian areas on which it could not gather details.

Systematic Attacks on Civilian Areas

Among the confirmed targets in the verified attacks were hospitals, mosques, schools, markets, shelters, and residential buildings.

The VDC’s details on strikes on field hospitals in Latamaneh and Kafrzita in Hama Province support the information of both Medicins Sans Frontieres and Physicians for Human Rights, who have reported on 10 to 12 Russian attacks on hospitals since September 30. The Russian Defense Ministry responded by saying, that in six cases, five of the hospitals did not exist and the other was undamaged.

The VDC also establishes that Russian warplanes hit the Omar Bin al-Khattab Mosque in Jisr al-Shughour in Idlib Province, killing two people — including the mosque’s imam — and wounding seven. The Russian Defense Ministry had claimed that reports of the attack were a “hoax” by Western media, but the VDC confirms that the Ministry used photographs of a different, undamaged mosque.

Among the other targets were crowded markets, including one in Killi in Idlib Province where four people died on October 23.

The VDC concludes, “The attacks reviewed appear to form a pattern of attacking civilian places and populations.
The consistency with which civilian places have been targeted makes it more likely that the RFAF [Russian Air Force] was not directing the attack on any specific military objective.”

Attacks with Cruise Missiles and Cluster Munitions

The VDC notes that Russia’s high-profile attacks with cruise missiles on October 7 killed at least five civilians and wounded 15 in Darat Izza in Aleppo Province and killed at least 10 civilians and injured six. There was no rebel military presence in either location.

Among the documented Russian attacks with cluster munitions is a raid near Hayyan in Aleppo Province, where at least 150 bomblets from three airstrikes exploded on impact, and on the al-Myaser section of Aleppo city.

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  1. As I said before, when it comes to foreign policy, Russians have been Evil Bastards since their revolution. Assad and his allies plan has always been to finish off moderate rebels first and leave islamic state for last as they want islamic state to be the international focus while they commit their war crimes. Thanks to a weak U.S president they can get away with whatever they do,( bombing civilians, hospitals and using chemical weapons etc).These Vienna talks are nothing but a distraction to confuse and divide rebels and their allies while they advance on the ground, Russia and Iran have feckless Obama, like a monkey at the end of a chain and making him dance. You look at photo’s of russian troops and all of them look like illiterate thugs, which exactly what they are. Putin bombs moderate rebels with ” for Paris ” written on bombs, this scumbag doesn’t miss a trick and as Iran has agreed to cover the full cost of russian military involvement in syria, I bet he is overcharging the iranians.

    I remember every year in memorials to holocaust victims of ww2, speeches are given and they like to repeat phrases like ” Never again”. In fact you are better off as a Jew in a Nazi concentration camp than you are in an Assad prison !.In a concentration camp, The Nazis would starve you,you could be gassed or shot at any time, but they didn’t have daily tortures with whipping, electrocutions, eyes been gouged out and terrible atrocities Assad is committing.

  2. Putin knows how to deal with ALL the foreign backed terrorist groups. ISIS and all the others.

    Unlike the West, Putin doesn’t have to kowtow to the Arab kings.

    • The recipe Putin is using against international laws of United Nations:

      1..Making Terrorist Groups stronger like Chechen Islamist fighters being the leading figures today inside the organisation of Daesh.

      2..Assad and Putin are transforming Syria into a terrorist factory with the means of ethnic cleansing displacing big parts of the syrian population.

      3..The perverted notions of a state organization by Assad, Iran and Russia are leading directly to the dissolution of Syrian State Structures giving free space for actions of terrorist groups.

    • Putin and Assad are terrorists themselves and have killed 100 times more civilians than ISIS has !, their fire power makes them worse and more dangerous than isis, over a couple of hundred Russians died in a plane because of Putin’s intervention in syria and he doesn’t bomb syria in their name but ” for Paris”!, what a low life !. Putin doesn’t give a damn about his own people let alone others, nothing must get in the way of him building a new Russian empire.

      One funny thing, what ever website you go to on the net, no matter how small or which ever country, when there is discussion or news about syria and comments are allowed. Putin & Assad PAID cyber army, under different id’s are making a barrage of comments in support of Putin & Assad and blasting the West for not joining these two thugs in their war effort !.

      • If we go by that logic that would make every US and Israeli head of estate as well as the majority of UK and France heads of estate a terrorist !!

      • I wouldn’t be so sure. Grand Prince Khuilo most certainly does employ cyber-propagandists, but wouldn’t say that he goes out of his way to have them actively cover for his pet Damascene Giraffe to any meaningful extent. At least not before the intervention, and there was an extremely large amount of Assadist supporters on the net before it. I’d sooner chalk it up to people actually preferring him to the opposition.

        As I stated before, I consider Assad’s PR strategy to be the single most successful thing he has employed throughout the war. He knows to strike the right chords in his Western audience. The ever stronger islamist character of the opposition plays the biggest part in its success. The same way people in the West will feel more empathy for a blonde, blue eyed kid’s suffering than that of a starving negroid, so will people sympathize more with a clean shaven man in a business suit with a quaint lisp and an unveiled wife who are ‘victims’ of a ‘foreign conspiracy’ than a bearded gunman peppering his speech with Qur’anic ayat and takbirs who becomes a victim of a barrel bomb together with his 12-member immediate family. It’s only natural to relate more to those more similar to yourself. The vast majority of people don’t actively follow the situation on social media and aren’t exposed to his daily atrocities. He feeds the left with talk of anti-imperialism, while feeding the right with talk of protecting the minorities and fighting terrorism. People love when they hear what they want to hear so much they’ll warp reality to suit their world view. The end result is that you have a large chunk of populace supporting you regardless of moral atrocities you’ve committed. This is what I believe the most influential factor in the large support Assad has, not Putin dishing out a large sum of cash from his rather strained pocket. I can’t remember the last time I went to some 100+ comment section of a newspaper and it wasn’t overwhelmingly pro-Assad. Left, right, all the same.

        Anti-Islamic sentiment is continuing to grow in Europe, and while not everyone will blame the whole Islamic community for the chaos at home and abroad, a very large number will (or already have) become hostile to anyone and anything advocating political Islam, which is I reckon by now the majority of rebel forces to at least some extent. Most can’t be bothered to learn the difference between an Ikhwani Shari’a state and a Salafi-Jihadi one. The overall dubious character of the rebellion doesn’t help a lot in its case. I had the chance to talk to an elderly French couple on visit here who said they supported the revolution in 2012, only to be horrified to how some Islamist factions defaced churches repeatedly and hoped for Assad to cleanse the country of those thugs.

        Trust me, I’ve met several Assad supporters in real life and even have one in my own family, and I’m certain none of them are paid shills on the Kremlin’s payroll.

        • I should add Sunni islamism specifically.
          How many times have I read someone attacking Saudi Arabia for medieval barbarity while praising Iran as the No. 1 force against IS and Islamic terrorism.

    • Jerry,

      so if Russia doesn’t bomb, jihadists and all of the other Sunni terrorist groups will just fade away?

      France is now bombing. US is bombing. Soon UK will be bombing.

  3. Stork — Khaled Khoja of National Coalition of Syrian Revolution calls Al-Nusra Front to disengage with al-Qaeda.

    #سوريا | خالد خوجة :أدعو الثوار السوريين الشرفاء في #جبهة_النصرة إلى العودة إلى المظلة الواسعة للثورة السورية وتجنيب البلاد المزيد من الدمار

    Translation: # Syria | Khaled Khoja: calls for Syrian rebels in the honorable # Jabhat al Nusra to return to the broad umbrella of the Syrian revolution and to spare the country further destruction.


    FSA tough talking against Nusra.

    • Nusra severing its links with AQ would be humiliating for several reasons, impermissible according to Islamic law due to binding bayah, and on top of that it would lose the vast majority of its foreign fighters, which constitute roughly a third of its overall force, thus severely weakening it.

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