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.

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: October 23 - November 1, 2015

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) discontinued the release of daily airstrike reports from October 28 – November 1 amidst multilateral talks on the Syrian Civil War held in Vienna on October 30 and continued reports of civilian casualties. Nevertheless, credible local sources continued to report airstrikes in Dera’a, Damascus, Homs, Hama, Idlib, and Aleppo from October 31 – November 1.

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: September 30 - October 28, 2015

Key Takeaway: Russian airstrikes near Aleppo targeted rebels from October 27-28 as the Syrian regime’s ground offensives suffered setbacks. Syrian regime ground offensives against rebels in the southern countryside of Aleppo and against ISIS near the besieged Kuweires Airbase east of Aleppo City largely stalled following ISIS's offensive against the regime-held town of Safira in the southeastern Aleppo countryside on October 26.

The Fight for Aleppo: October 21-28, 2015

ISIS launched a multi-phase counterattack against the Syrian regime and its allies in Aleppo Province which threatens the regime’s control over its primary ground line of communication (GLOC) to Aleppo City. ISIS seized multiple checkpoints along the highway between the towns of Khanaser and Ithriya in southern Aleppo Province on 23 OCT. These gains blocked the route used by the Syrian regime to deploy reinforcements to Aleppo from Hama and Homs Provinces. ISIS subsequently initiated a major attack targeting the key regime-held town of Safira southeast of Aleppo City.

Regime and Iranian Forces Launch Multi-Pronged Offensive in Aleppo

The Syrian regime and its allies launched a major, multi-pronged offensive in Aleppo Province on October 15 in order to bolster the regime's foothold in Aleppo City. Both Russia and Iran likely aim to enable Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to reassert control over Syria’s largest city given the heavy involvement of their military forces in these operations. Russia and Iran will not limit their support to reinforcing the regime's defenses in its heartland along the Syrian coast.