Russian deployment in Syria
- See also Russian fleet in the Mediterranean
In September 2015 Russia deployed a large contingent or air and land forces to Syria. On September 30 Russia launched airstrikes on ISIS, al-Nusra Front and other rebel groups, including ones created and supported by the US. The move came as a surprise to US officials, despite the evidence collected here and despite president Putin's speech at the US General Assembly on September 26.
As of October 2, 2015 the Russian strike force consists of over 50 aircraft, including twelve Su-24s, twelve Su-25s, four Su-30s, six Su-34s and a number of helicopters. Initial claims of the presence of six MiG-31s have not been confirmed.
- 1 Sources
- 2 Official Russian statements
- 3 Western reactions
- 4 Chinese forces?
- 5 Naval deployment
- 6 Analysis
- 7 Russian involvement in military operations
- 8 2016
- 9 2017
- WORLD VIEW: WITH SYRIA’S ARMY NEARING COLLAPSE, IRAN PLANS MASSIVE TROOP DEPLOYMENT - JOHN J. XENAKIS, 5 Jun 2015
- As we have been reporting since April, the army of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad has been increasingly showing signs of collapse, losing one major city after another either to the Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) or to the al-Qaeda linked Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front). The collapse has become so serious that even Russia is considering ending support for al-Assad.
- The Russian-Iranian-Syrian mutual defense treaty the Western media forgot about - Timothy Whiteman, via The Examiner, September 13, 2015
- 12.11.2015. IS issued a video threatening Russia.
- From the Ukraine to Syria, Russian Orlan-10 and Eleron-3SV drones in Syria's skies - Oryx Blog, 21 July 2015
- UPDATE: The Cargo On Russian Landing Ship Nikolay Filchenkov - Bosphorus Naval News, 22 August 2015
- Another Southbound Passage Of Nikolay Filchenkov - Bosphorus Naval News, 13 September 2015
- From Russia with Love, Syria's BTR-82As - Oryx Blog, 24 August 2015
- New evidence proves Russian military directly engaging in Syrian Civil War - Oryx Blog, 29 August 2015
- These photos suggest Russian Air Force jets and drones are already operating against ISIS in Syria - David Cenciotti, The Avionist, Sep 02 2015
- First Photos of the Russian Marines Operating Inside Syria - LEITH FADEL, Al Masdar News , September 16, 2015
- Sighting of R-166-0.5 signals vehicle affirms inflow of Russian military into Syria - Oryx Blog, 16 September 2015
- 'Satellite image shows four Russian Su-30SM parked in the open air at airfield in Syria', theavionist.com, 20 September 2015.
- A video appear to show four interceptor/fighter planes and a refueling plane in Syria -video. Rusvesna notes that neither side confirmed or denied the report and hopes to clarify the matter later.
- Su-25 Frogfoots And Su-24 Fencers Arrive At Russia's Burgeoning Syrian Base - Tyler Rogoway, 9/21/15
- Russian fighter jets enter Syria with transponders off - Barbara Starr and Ross Levitt, CNN, September 25, 2015
- Six Russian Su-34 Fullback bomber have just arrived in Syria. And this is the route they have likely flown to get there - David Cenciotti, The Avionist, September 29 2015
- Russia's participation in the Syrian War, the Su-34 'Fullback' has arrived - Oryx Blog, 29 September 2015
- RT EXCLUSIVE: First look at Russian airbase in Latakia, centerpiece of anti-ISIS operations (VIDEO) - RT, October 2, 2015
- Syrian Express Study - Mikhail Voytenko, FleetMon, Nov. 3, 2015
Western contacts with Russia
- As Moscow Sends Fighter Jets Into Syria, US and Russian Defense Chiefs Open Talks -defenseone.com, 18 September, 2015. Date of contact: Friday, 18 September 2015.
- Netanyahu meets Putin to discuss concerns over Russian activity in Syria - The Guardian, , 21 September 2015.
- CIA boss Brennan visited Moscow in early March: Interfax -Reuters, March 28, 2016 (preceded partial Russian withdrawal).
In one of his televised public appearances soon after the deployment, Putin has stated that Syrian operation was not a surprise to our US partners. A reference to such a statement: interview to Vladimir Soloviev, 12 October 2015.
- Vladimir Putin: First, let me confirm what is already known, namely, that we informed our partners of our plans beforehand. We informed our American partners and many others, especially the countries in the region concerned, of our plans and intentions.
See also the talk page.
- Russia prepares army for Syrian deployment - Clara Weiss, WSWS, 12 June 2012
- The Russian army is beginning to engage in Syria - Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 24 August 2015
- Russia and Syria: The Die Is Cast - Israel Shamir, UNZ.COM, September 3, 2015
- Now we can confirm that to the best of our knowledge, despite denials Russia has cast its lot and made a very important decision to enter the Syrian war. This decision may yet save Syria from total collapse and incidentally save Europe, too, from being swept by refugee waves. The Russian air force will ostensibly fight Da’esh, but probably (as Michael Weiss guessed) they will also bomb not just Da’esh but the US-allied opposition of al-Nusra (formerly al-Qaeda) and other non-Da’esh Islamic extremists for the simple reason that they can’t be distinguished from Da’esh.
- Is Russia Preparing Military Intervention to Back Assad in Syria - LaRouchePAK, September 3, 2015
- The preparation for Russian military deployment in Syria continues - Thierry Meyssan, 14 September 2015
- Russia is constructing a military base in Syria - Politikus.ru via Saker, September 21, 2015
- The CSTO arrives in Iraq and Syria, Thierry Meyssan, September 21, 2015
- Russian Army starts destroying Islamic State in Syria - Pravda, 22.09.2015 (translated from Politonline.ru)
- "The Russian military have deployed a layered defense system and continue fulfilling contracts for the delivery of modern weapons to Syria. That's all I can say officially. I have no right to either deny and confirm whether the Russian aviation is involved in the military actions," a high-ranking source in the General Staff of the Russian Federation told Politonline.ru. He added that Russian troops have already repulsed terrorists' attacks before, quite successfully.
- Russia supplies Assad with MiG fighters - Middle East Monitor, 22 September 2015 10:27
- Russia will supply the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad with 12 MiG-29-M/M2 fighter jets by 2017, media reports have claimed. According to Russia’s Kommersant newspaper, the government in Moscow will ensure that nine of the aircraft are ready by 2016. Unnamed sources said that some Yak fighters are ready for delivery.
- Russia goes to war with ISIS: Why and how? - RT, September 30, 2015
- Putin press conference -TASS, full text (Russian) (English) . Among unexpected answers,-- not sure that a Russian base in Syria is a must, 'if we need to get somebody, we can do it anyway' (see an answer to Sergei Brilyov in the full transcript for details). Protecting a long established Russian warm waters navy base in Syria is in general believed to be one of the reasons of Russian involvement, this casts some doubt on that wisdom.
- Kadyrov claims his commando fighters are taking part in operation in Syria, and had some casualties; and claims that IS was prepared by NATO instructors (he says he knows because his men have joined and passed those training courses)-report and video from Chechnya, Feb. 8, 2016. Video shows training exercises, with Kadyrov taking part; a group of men said to return back after joining IS; a central mosque, where a decision banning wahhabism was adopted; and an imam visiting a men arrested for joining 'illegal armed formations' (possibly in Syria). Video released shortly after controversy created by verbal, media, and possibly legal clashes between Kadyrov and Russian opposition; this is briefly addressed in the video. Video also shows meeting of Kadyrov with Zakayev relatives in Chechnya and offering to return back (Relatives praised the visit by Kadyrov, but Zakayev declined, gave an interview to Echo of Moscow).
- Peskov comment: there are only federal Russian armed forces, and internal troops, no Chechen spetsnaz (Kadyrov also presented his fighters as a part of Russian forces)
- Further clarification by Kadyrov (they are volunteers...pretend to be IS...)
- Russian DM Shoigu visits Khmeimim airbase in Syria, meets Assad-report and video, June 16, 2016
- A Russian military intervention in Syria? I very much doubt it - The Saker, September 01, 2015
- Russia rejects report of aircraft, troops deployment to Syria - PressTV, Sep 1, 2015
- Russia Rejects Report of Aircraft, Troops Deployment to Syria - PressTV via ANNA News, 2015-09-02
- Syria Civil War: The Russians Are Coming to President Assad’s Aid…Or Are They? - Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, 11 September 2015
- Fox News 'Discovers' Russian Helos in Syria, Despite Pentagon Denials - Sputnik, September 17, 2015
- We help the Guardian fix some of its reporting on Syria - OffGuardian, September 17, 2015
- The Big Lie About Russian Forces in Syria - Stephen Lendman, Global Research, September 20, 2015
Russian opposition claims
- Fontanka.ru, on 'Wagner' private military company (in Russian).
- Russia Puts Boots on the Ground in Syria - Michael Weiss, The Daily Beast September 1, 2015
- Russian Moves in Syria Pose Concerns for U.S. - The New Times, September 4, 2015
- Exposing Russia’s Secret Army in Syria - Michael Weiss, The Daily Beast September 5, 2015
- This Satellite Image Leaves No Doubt That Russia Is Throwing Troops and Aircraft Into Syria- Jeffrey Lewis. FP, September 14, 2015
- Russia shipping tanks into Syria, in ‘first clear sign of offensive weapons’ - Lucas Tomlinson, Fox News, September 14, 2015
- Russia positioning tanks at Syria airfield: U.S. officials ̣- PHIL STEWART- Reuters, September 14, 2015
- From Donetsk to Damascus - Dmitriy Rodionov, Svobodnaya Pressa, 17.09.2015
- Putin is turning the Syrian coast into another Crimea - Amir Taheri. New York Post, September 19, 2015
- Russia deploys 28 combat planes in Syria: US officials - AFP, September 22, 2014
- According to the officials, Russia has sent 12 SU-24 attack aircraft, 12 SU-25 ground attack aircraft and four Flanker fighter jets.
- At the climate change summit, Obama and Putin have met.
The US president once again expressed his stance on the position of Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying that the Syrian leader must leave power as part of a political transition, Reuters reported, citing a White House official.
- 'The truth about Syria', Undercover behind rebel lines, by Clarissa Ward, updated 16 march 2016.
- Shows results of 5 years of civil war (Idlib, Aleppo)-blames Russia for everything. (Russia bombed court house, hospital, and fruit market, in particular; no effort made to figure out who is really to blame). Update seems to be, text over video, driving home talking points for dummies, now (after Russian withdrawal) removed.
- U.S. Readies ‘Plan B’ to Arm Syria Rebels, WSJ, By ADAM ENTOUS, April 12, 2016 9:03 p.m. ET.
- Moderate groups could get antiaircraft weapons if cease-fire collapses, officials say
- Denied by US diplomats and military, according to Alexey Borodavkin , Russian representative at UN in Geneva- TASS, Apr. 17, 2016
- Syria conflict: IS 'destroyed helicopters' at T4 base, BBC, 24.5.2016
- Russian MOD denied
- 'Russian warplanes bomb elite British-backed Syrian rebels', Telegraph, June 17, 2016
- It is said that when Western-backed rebels were bombed, Russian and US planes were in the same area and that communication failed (quoting CNN report). Urgent consultations between militaries were conducted.
- The U.S. diverted armed FA-18s to the area after the first round of two strikes, and the pilots then tried to call the Russians on a previously agreed-upon pilot-to-pilot communications channel but did not receive an answer.
- It is said that when Western-backed rebels were bombed, Russian and US planes were in the same area and that communication failed (quoting CNN report). Urgent consultations between militaries were conducted.
- Russian jets in Syrian skies - Alex Fishman, Ynet News, 08.31.2015
- Russian Military Forces Arrive In Syria, Set Forward Operating Base Near Damascus - ZeroHedge, September 1, 2015
- Russia Deploying Air Force Contingent to Syria - Abraham Rabinovich, Free Beacon, September 1, 2015
- 'Russia eludes US ban on NATO airspace by roundabout route to Syria via Iraq and Iran', Debka file, September 9, 2015
- Putin’s offer to shield & develop Israel’s gas fields predated Russia’s military buildup in Syria - DEBKAfile, September 13, 2015
- Israel adds voice to concerns over Russia's role in Syria - Peter Beaumont. The Guardian, 10 September 2015
- Russian marines join Hizballah in first Syrian battle – a danger signal for US, Israel - DEBKAfile. September 24, 2015
- Russia sends world’s largest submarine, with 200 nukes, to Syria - via DEBKAfile, September 7, 2015
- A Chinese aircraft carrier docks at Tartus to support Russian-Iranian military buildup - DEBKAfile, September 26, 2015
- Putin to Dispatch 150,000 Troops in Syria to Eliminate ISIS - al Alam, November 28, 2015
- Over 100 Russian jet fighters and a new Brigade are expected in Syria once Sha’ayrat airport is in service - Elijah J. Magnier, Al-Rai, November 30, 2015 (translated from Arabic)
- Russia plans new Syria airbase: report - NOW, November 30, 2015
- Russia plans to expand its military force in Syria and deploy jets to a second airbase near Homs, according to a Kuwaiti daily with close access to Moscow’s military intervention in Syria.
- Al-Rai reported Monday morning that a Russian intelligence brigade would deploy near the Al-Shayrat Airbase located approximately 35 kilometers southeast of Homs.
- “The Al-Shayrat airbase houses around 45 airplane hangars, each of which is fortified in a way that prevents any damage if it is shelled or targeted,” sources in the Damascus joint operations room of the “4+1” military coalition of Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah told the newspaper’s chief international correspondent, Elijah J. Magnier.
- СМИ сообщили о подготовке второй российской базы в Сирии - Lenta.ru, December 1, 2015
- Russia adding 2nd airbase in Syria, pursuing 'expansion' in military campaign - Lucas Tomlinson, Fox News, December 1, 2015
- Russia has expanded its military operations in Syria to include a second airbase as well as other posts, according to a U.S. official briefed on the latest intelligence from the region.
- Russia deploying advisors near Palmyra: rebel media - NOW, January 7, 2016
- Russia operates 'Mainstay' AEW&Cs over Syria - Tim Ripley, IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, January 10, 2016
- Russia has begun operating Beriev A-50 'Mainstay' airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft over Syria in support of the air group it has deployed to the country.
- 22 July 2016. Saudi Arabia is ready to offer Russia's economic cooperation with the countries of the Persian Gulf and a major investment in exchange for Moscow's refusal to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Dzhubeyr in an interview with the Brussels edition of "Politico." -Interfax .
Russians/ex-USSR on the side of the rebels
- Putin: by estimates of security services, around 4,000 from Russia and some 5,000 ex- USSR militants in Syria (on the side of the rebels) -TASS, 23 February, 2017.
Official Russian statements
- Russia will not send forces to Syria to fight ISIL: Official - PressTV, Aug 5, 2015
- Putin confirms Russian military involvement in Syria's civil war - The Telegraph, Sep. 5, 2015
- Putin: Russian Support of Syrian Gov't Averts Deterioration of Situation- Sputnik, 15.09.2015
- Putin Explains Russia's Syrian Policy - Alexander Mercouris, September 16, 2015
- Deputy General Staff chief doesn't rule out creation of Russian Air Force base in Syria - TASS, September 16, 2015
- On September 21, Vladimir Putin will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, kremlin.ru.
- All eyes on Putin Interview with Charlie Rose, CBS 60 Minutes, September 27, 2015 (part 2)
- Full video: Russia: Putin talks Assad, Ukraine & ISIS with US TV host Charlie Rose - Ruptly TV, September 27, 2015
- Critical commentary via Fort Russ: Putin's interview on American "60 Minutes": Russia will not participate in any troop operations on the territory of Syria
- Fort Russ: What CBS edited out of Putin's interview: "US is preparing opposition forces to fight Assad, who then flee to ISIS with American weapons"
- Russian parliament unanimously approves use of troops in Syria - RT, September 30, 2015
- 13.11.2015 Russian MoD denied that S-400 was deployed in Syria. (Photo on Cassad, titled S-400), and by Daily Mail, showed a radar, possibly 96L6, or another version, which may be optional for S -300 and standard for S-400.
- S-400 and Fort/S-300 were deployed after Russian SU-24 plane was downed by Turkish F-16 on 24 Nov, 2015.
- Russia launched 'Calibr' cruise missile from a submarine in the Mediterranean to strike IS targets. TASS (report and Shoigu audio statement), Dec. 8, 2015
- Russia sends to Syria missile cruiser "Varyag", TASS, Dec 8, 2015.
- Deir ez-Zor: Russian HQ: IS sent two thousand fighters to storm Deir ez-Zor, RIA (Rus.), Jan. 25, 2016
- Russian Air Force strikes ISIS around Deir ez-Zor as jihadists prepare to storm key Syrian city, RT (Engl.), Jan. 25, 2016.
- New super-maneuverable Su-35C fighter planes arrived to Syria, according to Russian MOD-TASS, 1 Feb. 2016
- Putin meets DM of Iran, TASS, Feb. 16, 2016
- TASS, 12 July 2016. Six long-range Tu-22M3 bombers flew from Russia and performed strikes against terrorist targets in Syria east of Palmyra, Es Suhne and Arak. This is seen as retaliation for helicopter pilots death on 8 July 2016.
Valdai Discussion club
Putin, October 27. 2016 (improved automatic translation): Stopping the bloodshed and launching the political process fails. It would seem that, after long negotiations, an enormous effort and complex trade-offs a united front against terrorism finally began to form .
However, this did not happen, it is not actually created. Our personal agreement with the President of the United States did not work and in Washington there were forces which did everything for these agreements not to be implemented in practice. All this demonstrates the inexplicable, I would say, the irrational desire of Western countries over and over again to repeat their mistakes, how our people say, stepping on the same rake
- See also US involvement in Syria
- U.S. voices concern to Russia over latest military moves in Syria - Reuters, Sep 5, 2015
- Potential Russian troop deployment in Syria draws U.S. concerns - Vladimir Isachenkov, AP, Sep 07 2015
- Obama Warns Russia: Backing Syria Against ISIS ‘Doomed to Failure’ - Jason Ditz, September 11, 2015
- Why Russia's Actions in Syria Are No Shocker - Rajan Menon, September 15, 2015
- Syria: What to do About the Russian Challenge - FREDERIC C. HOF, The Atlantic Council, September 15, 2015
- President Obama has committed the United States to a war aimed at degrading and destroying the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL). Russia—with the consent of Iran—has moved to block that effort.
- Are the U.S. and Russia Now on the Same Page About Syria? - Aaron David Miller, WSJ, Sep 18, 2015
- US never expected Russian deployment in Syria: Analyst - PressTV, September 21, 2015
- Russian jets in Syria are there to protect own base: Kerry - Daily Star, September 22, 2015
- John Kerry said the US is ready to discuss the Syrian crisis - Sputnik, September 22, 2015
- David Petraeus urges Obama to credibly threaten Assad’s air force in Syria - Spencer Ackerman. The Guardian, September 22, 2015
- In a return to the foreign policy stage, former CIA director tells Senate panel that US must offer protection to Syrian fighters in order to team up against Isis
- Pentagon to open ‘lines of communication’ with Russia over strikes in Syria - RT, September 29, 2015
- Turkish PM rings the alarm, as Russia increases military presence in Syria - Sevil Erkuş, Hurriyet Daily News, September/22/2015
- In Moscow, presence of IDF generals sends a message of military urgency - JUDAH ARI GROSS, Times of Israel, September 21, 2015
- In rare move, Netanyahu brings both IDF chief and intelligence head to Russia to drive home concerns on Hezbollah, Syria
Visit of Saudi Arabia’s king to Russia before year end possible — Kremlin TASS
- Russian troops in Syria could end up helping Isis, report claims - Julian Borger, The Guardian, 25 September 2015
- Analysts say involvement ‘underlines contradictions of Kremlin’ as troops are in areas where they are likely to fight groups opposed to Isis
- Chinese Military Personnel Expected to Arrive in Syria - Leith Fadel, September 23, 2015
- Chinese Navy sets off for Syria - Pravda.Ru, 25.09.2015
- Igor Morozov, member of the Russian Federation Committee on International Affairs claimed about the beginning of the military operation by China against the IS terrorists. "It is known, that China has joined our military operation in Syria, the Chinese cruiser has already entered the Mediterranean, aircraft carrier follows it," Morozov said.
- Chinese troops to join Russian marines in Syria soon, says report - Johnlee Varghese, International Business Times, September 27, 2015
- China’s military advisers ‘heading to Syria to help fight ISIS’ – report - RT, September 28, 2015
- Both RT and International Business Times are just quoting DEBKAfile and Leith Abou Fadel without any new information or confirmation to add.
- Debunk: No, I'm Pretty Sure China's Only Aircraft Carrier is Not in Tartus - Middle East Institute, September 28, 2015
- Expert Shatters Rumors About Chinese Aircraft Carrier in Syria - Sputnik, September 28, 2015
- US On The Ropes: China To Join Russian Military In Syria While Iraq Strikes Intel Deal With Moscow, Tehran - ZeroHedge, September 27, 2015
- Chinese naval expert denies PLA joining fight against ISIS - WantChinaTimes, September 30, 2015
- Putin's boost in battle against ISIS: China preparing to 'team up with Russia in Syria' - ROB VIRTUE, Daily Express, Oct 8, 2015
- Moved to Russian fleet in the Mediterranean
- Putin’s Line in the Sand: No Regime Change in Syria - Mike Whitney, Counterpunch, September 17, 2015
- Putin Wants to Keep ISIS From Power While US Paves Its Way - Patrick J. Buchanan, September 17, 2015
- Putin’s calculations in Syria - Martin Sieff, The Arab Weekly, September 18, 2015
- Russia's Options in Syria - Igor Korotchenko, September 20, 2015
- Russian build-up in Syria puts Israel on the back foot - M.K. Bhadrakumar, Asia Times, September 22, 2015
- 2,000 Russian Troops Head To Syria For "First Phase" Of Mission To Support Assad - ZeroHedge, September 22, 2015
- Assadland, a Russian protectorate - Marc Pierini, Hurriyet Daily News, September 22, 2015 (mirror)
- Syria confirms receipt of Russian jets to target Isis - Ian Black, Alec Luhn. The Guardian, 22 September 2015
- Air force takes delivery of fighter planes and reconnaissance aircraft, and US officials say Moscow plans to send 2,000 personnel to airbase near Latakia
- Why will Russia save Syria, but not Ukraine? - Russky Malchik, September 23, 2015 (original)
- Putin’s Plan: What Will Russia Bomb in Syria? - Aron Lund
- Moscow's Moves in Syria: 5 Messages Russia Is Sending to the World - National Interest
- U.S. Stonewalls Putin’s ‘Anti-Terror’ Push at the United Nations - Foreign Policy
- Live from New York, it’s ‘Putin the Great’ - Pepe Escobar, RT, September 24, 2015
- US Cannot Escape ‘Syrian Trap’ Without Russia – Polish Media - Sputnik, September 24, 2015
- Russia preparing air strikes on Isil if US does not back deal to keep Assad - Peter Dominiczak, Roland Oliphant, The Telegraph, September 24, 2015
- CrossTalk: Saving Syria - RT, September 25, 2015
- Russia Returns to the Middle East - Israel Shamir, September 25, 2015
- US to undermine Russia's efforts to stabilize Syria: Analyst - PressTV, September 26, 2015
- Robert Fisk: I think I know what Putin is up to in Syria, and it involves Palmyra - The Independent, September 27?, 2015 (mirror)
- Slipping Syria? What the US is Losing and Russia is Gaining in Damascus - Sputnik, September 28, 2015
- Interview with Metro World News Concerning Russian Position on Conflict in Syria - Ivan Katchanovski, September 28, 2015 (in Spanish)
- Putin's Chess Game on Ukraine and Syria - Petri Krohn, September 28, 2015
- Russia’s Impact on the War on Syria - Eric Draitser, September 29, 2015
- Russian Military Intervention in Syria - Gordon M. Hahn, September 30, 2015
- Putin’s Blitz Leaves Washington Rankled and Confused - Mike Whitney, Counterpunch, October 1, 2015
- Russia's Air War in Syria: Its Organisation and Purpose - Daniel Fielding, Russia Insider, October 2, 2015
- Russia ‘Reshuffles’ US Cards in Syrian Conflict - Sputnik, October 3, 2015
- Assad in Moscow and More Secure Than Ever Since Start of War - Alexander Mercouris, Russia Insider, October 22, 2015
- Russia sends clear message to NATO - Pravda, January 22, 2016
- "It took Russian military men months to develop the Syrian operation. Everything was elaborated in detail on maps. We started delivering military hardware and ammunition to Syria, the Hmeimim airbase had to be reconstructed. The base had to be protected too, so we had to redeploy several groups of the Black Sea Fleet to Syria. Surprisingly, the US intelligence and intelligence services of other NATO countries missed all that out of their attention."
- Vasilii Pavlov, Russian colonel(ret.) turned journalist, spent 1-2 years in Syria - Airstrikes and armies won't work; citizens and government must fight terrorism together English Russian
- Analysis of new aspects of 'terror wars'. Modern weapons are more expensive than their targets, and using them carry unacceptable risks; while Western covertly supported rag-tag terrorists are cheap. Army cannot defend against this as there is no front line and strikes can occur at any town/settlement where army fighting is very difficult (analogy with cockroaches often made). Recommendations include: going after source, not just some bandits, including closing and protecting borders (using technical and military means); pressuring external supporters; economic analysis; attention to information warfare --with being clear who is enemy in particular. Spends considerable time describing how Syrian local volunteers ('opolchenie'), when they were in place in advance and with properly organised interaction and training with regular army prevented capture of their territory; recommends working on this in Russia, highlighting danger of Syrian type conflict in Russia. Talks about bringing positions of civilians and rulers closer together.
Russian involvement in military operations
- Main article: Russian airstrikes in Syria
- Russian marines join Hizballah in first Syrian battle – a danger signal for US, Israel - DEBKAfile, September 24, 2015
- Before dawn on Thursday, Sept. 24, Russian marines went into battle for the first time since their deployment to Syria. Russian Marine Brigade 810 fought with Syrian army and Hizballah special forces in an attack on ISIS forces at the Kweiris airbase, east of Aleppo.
- Russian Jets Strike ISIS in East Aleppo to Propel the Syrian Army’s Advance on Kuweires Airbase - Leith Fadel, September 25, 2015
- Russian Military Takes Command of East Aleppo Operations - Leith Fadel, September 27, 2015
- In addition to their airstrikes, the Russian military advisors that oversee the Syrian Armed Forces’ operations in northern Syria have now taken complete command of the east Aleppo offensive to lift the siege of the Kuweires Military Airport.
- Russia's First Reported Air Strikes in Syria Assist Regime with Targeting Broader Opposition - Genevieve Casagrande, ISW, September 30, 2015
- Notably, the airstrike did not hit ISIS militants and rather resulted in the a large number of civilian casualties.
- Around October 20 (apparently) Reuters reports, 3 Russian volunteers (not sent by Moscow) killed in Latakia, near Salma, fighting with the SAA.
- VDC records one Russian fatality so far, Baran Dimitri Shalkov, also killed in Latakia, back on September 12. --Caustic Logic (talk) 17:26, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Those are deaths reported as combat. There's also the young soldier Vadim Kostenko, also in Latakia, but a technician in more formal service at the Hmeymim air base. Moscow says he committed suicide over a broken relationship. Some doubt this, but there's no known rebel presence nearby. --Caustic Logic (talk) 17:34, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
- 24.11.2015 Su-24 captain Oleg Peshkov (lieutenant colonel) was killed after bailing out from his plane shot down by Turkey. Marine Alexander Pozynich was killed during search and rescue operation. As announced by Putin, Oleg Peshkov was awarded the title of Hero of Russia (posthumously); Alexander Pozynich was awarded Order of Courage (posthumously) -interfax.
- Magomet Khasiev (adopted name;name at birth: Evgenii Yudin). Execution shown on IS video. Lifenews determined identity; adoptive mother interview; Kadyrov: he is a Russian-- a Chechen... (does not believe he worked for services; according to Lifenews, he was on a wanted list in Russia for joining IS. --Resup (talk) 00:13, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
- March 17, 2016. Overall, 4 killed during the deployment (two in SU 24 incident, a military advisor, and another serviceman), and one reported suicide. Regnum.ru
- Russian spetznas officer doing fire correction/target designation near Palmyra died as a hero. It is said that he was surrounded and called 'a fire onto himself' (ie directed a fire strike at his own location)-TASS--Resup (talk) 20:57, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
- Another Russian death announced, Vadim, from Orenburg, Russia. According to Orenburg local media, he participated in fighting in Syria; other details of his death are not given. His service in MOI troops ended and he was discharged 12 years ago. According to Vasilii Panchenkov, MOI spokesman, Vadim was drafted in 2002-2004 and served as a baker in spetnaz battalion 'Vitiaz'. He was discharged after that. His circumstances after discharge were not traced by MOI, and this is not done in the case of other soldiers or sergeants.
- 11 May, 2016, Homs province, Syria. While escorting vehicles of the Russian Center for reconciliation of warring parties, as a result of shelling by militants, Russian soldier Anton Erygin was seriously injured and later died of his injuries.
- 19 June 2016. It is reported that a sergeant of 336th Marine Brigade from Baltiysk Andrey Tymoshenko was killed, preventing suicide bomber attack on humanitarian aid distribution place in a desert area of Homs.
- A video emerged of suicide bomber attack near Palmyra. One soldier has uniform resembling Russian, others are Syrian. It is uncertain whether this is the same event, but commenters speculate that it is. Palmyra is in Homs governorate, so reports may be consistent. (Similar discussion is in Rusvesna article).
- 8 July, 2016. TASS (Engl)
- On July 8, 2016 Russian training military pilots Ryafagat Khabibulin and Yevgeny Dolgin were making a test flight of a Syrian Mi-25 helicopter with ammunition in the Homs region (Syria)," the defense ministry said. "At the time, a large detachment of ISIS gunmen mounted an offensive against Syrian troops to the east of Palmyra and breaking through the defenses, made a rapid dash into the area, threatening to capture the heights." Syrian reserve units that could be redeployed to the area to curb the terrorists’ advance were not available then, the ministry said. "The crew received a request from the Syrian grouping’s command to deliver air strikes at the advancing combatants," it said. "Crew commander Ryafagat Khabibulin made a decision to attack the terrorists. Owing to the Russian pilots’ correct actions, the terrorists’ attack was thwarted." "After having run out of ammunition, the turning around helicopter was hit by militants’ gunfire from the ground and crashed in the area controlled by the Syrian governmental army. The crew died," the defense ministry said. The Russian military pilots were nominated for top state awards.
- Interfax, quoting military sources, claim that "terrorists" (IS from the context) used US-made TOW missile to shot down the helicopter.
- English-language version by Mirror
- Shoot down appeared on video
- 22 July, 2016. Private Nikita Shevchenko, who served under contract, was killed by IED explosion in Syria, accompanying food and water convoy. Presented to the state award posthumously. TASS.
- Conflict intelligence team (Moscow based opposition blog founded by Ruslan Leviev, a Bellingcat contributor) offers some doubts, but not a resolution. (Some other thing have exploded in Syria in those days, indeed...).
Two more recent deaths announced, one regular serviceman, Artem Gorbunov, killed protecting Russian military advisers; another a volunteer or private military company member, Ivan Slyshkin killed by a sniper. Official number of deaths stand at 28 at present -kommersant.ru , 6 Mar. 2017. The count includes 4 military advisers killed by IED explosion, Feb. 16, 2016; two others, including general-major Miliukhin, were wounded in that incident.
- 19 Aug., 2016. Irina Barakiat lived in Syria for 13 years. She was seriously wounded in Aleppo in August 2016. According to report and video, during shelling by rebels, her apartment was hit; she covered with her body a 'balloon' (apparently do-it-yourself mortar shell) protecting her 3 children. She lost a leg and a foot, and suffered multiple injuries, but survived and was evacuated to St. Petersburg.
- Russia's Mi-8 Chopper Shot Down in Syria, on his way back after delivering aid to Aleppo, Sputnik News, 1 Aug, 2016; There were 5 people on board. Dead bodies were dragged through dirt, Cassad. Apparently one ID card shows a woman.
- Woman photo is on a driver license but not a genuine one, a joke, souvenir, or a fake, according to this
- Kremlin reports all those on board Russian helicopter Mi-8 shot down in Syria died TASS (Engl).
- Details on downed helicopter offered in this twitter post
- Crew is named
- Retaliation strikes reported
- A video emerged called "Russian military jet has been downed in #Aleppo 01/08/2016". This video is fake, crash sound added later. No smoke, fire, sound, pilots ejecting, etc.
- According to comment, in the 'prime source' it was noted that this is just Su-24 fly-by, not a shoot down (so crash sound is added than)
- إستهداف أحد المقرات (Targeting a headquarters) - تجمع العزة, Sep 30, 2015
- 17.11.2015 24 cruise missiles launched from long-range bombers
- 20.11.2015 18 Calibr cruise missiles launched from Caspian sea ships
- 8.12.2015 Calibr cruise missiles launched from "Rostov-on-Don" submarine in the Mediterranean
Announced main forces withdrawal
- March 14, 2016. Putin: Russia to 'withdraw main forces from March 15'-TASS (Rus)., (Eng).; video; kremlin.ru. Hopes it will increase trust and help peace negotiations. (Russian bases in Tartus and airforce base at Kmeimim to continue as usual, has to be fully protected).
- (So far, so good...).
- March 21, 2016. Russia ready to use military force against violators of Syria ceasefire starting March 22, TASS (Eng). Moscow will use military force if Russia gets no response to its ceasefire control proposals from the United States.
- "If the Russian Federation gets no response from the United States to these proposals, it will proceed starting March 22 to unilateral application of the rules specified in the Agreement," head of the Main Operations Directorate of the Russian General Staff Sergei Rudskoi said.
- "We emphasize that military force will be used only after we receive credible evidence of systematic violations by armed groups of the commitments made within the framework of the Joint US-Russian statement on the cessation of hostilities in Syria as of February 22, 2016. Military force will not be used against the groups, observing the ceasefire regime, as well as against the civilian population and civilian facilities", he added.
- US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Moscow on March 23-24, TASS, March 19, 2016
Russian Centre for reconciliation
24 May, 2016. Negotiations with some groups, trying to separate their territory from (clearly) terrorist groups, and ensure that shelling is not conducted from territory of their control, will be continued past 25 May.
Russian Humanitarian Operation
At a press conference by Sergei Rudskoi, Russian military announced the start of humanitarian operation in Syria. Russia accused rebel of selling aid, delivering weapons instead; and started its own humanitarian operation by delivering aid to the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor (a government -held stronghold in Eastern Syria)- Rusvesna, report and videos. Jan 15, 2016
Increased deployment, Sept 2016
More SU 24 and SU 34 deployed, 'workhorse' SU 25 attack planes prepared but not moved yet. Rusvesna, 30 Sept 2016.
October: Russia moves S-300VM anti-aircraft missile system to Tartus.
- Moscow delivers S-300 missile system to Syria for defense of Russian naval base - RT, October 4, 2016
- Its sole purpose is to defend a Russian naval base and warships, the ministry added.
- CONFIRMED: Russia sends S-300 advanced missile system to Syria, U.S. runs out of options - Alexander Mercouris, The Duran, October 4, 2016
- Russia Has Withdrawn Almost Half of Its Air Group From Syria's Hmeymim Airbase - Sputnik, April 26, 2017
- Rudskoi revealed that the Russian air group never exceeded 35 aircraft between November 10, 2016 and January 10, 2017. As for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), now Russia is operating about 80 drones in Syria, he added.
- Russia Withdraws Half Of Its Warplanes From Syria - SouthFront, April 26, 2017
- It’s worth to remember that Russia deployed four Su-34 fighter bombers to the Hmeymim airbase last Sunday, raising the number of such bombers in Syria to 11. Along with 12 Su-24, 4 Su-35, 4 Su-30 and 4 Su-25, Moscow had a total of 35 warplanes of various types deployed in Syria. This number is identical to the number provided by the Russian general staff.