Russian Airstrikes in Syria: October 27 - November 5th, 2015

Key Takeaway: Russian warplanes continued to target core ISIS-held terrain in Syria following regime anti-ISIS operations in Homs and Aleppo. Russian airstrikes targeted ISIS’s positions in ar-Raqqa, Homs, and reportedly Deir ez-Zour from November 4 - 5. Local sources reported that Russian airstrikes targeted the ISIS-held town of Albu Kamal near the Iraqi border in Deir ez-Zour Province on November 5, claiming that the strikes killed over 50 civilians. If confirmed, the airstrikes would be the farthest Russian warplanes have travelled to conduct strikes since the start of Russia’s air campaign in Syria on September 30. The majority of Russian strikes, however, targeted rebel-held areas in the provinces of Damascus, Idlib, Latakia, and Aleppo. Russian air operations continue to bolster the Syrian regime in its fight against the Syrian opposition rather than ISIS.

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.