A new report claims that Russia’s aggressive air campaign against ISIS in Syria has left nearly 1,400 civilians dead, including 527 women and children.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, there are as much as 3,578 people in Syria who have been killed since September 30 last year as a result of constant airstrikes performed by Russia over Syria. This death toll includes 965 ISIS fighters as well as 1,233 rebels and non-Syrian militants. More significantly though, the continuous strikes have also left 1,380 civilians dead with 332 children among those killed.
Last January 28, representatives from the US and Russian military have held a meeting via video conference in order to discuss the implementation of a U.S.-Russia memorandum of understanding with regard flight safety over Syrian airspace. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said that the two countries had talked about “operational safety” during counter ISIS operations by the coalition forces and the Russian military forces in order to “avoid accidents and unintended confrontation,” especially when both forces are operating in Syria.
The Russian Ministry of Defense says the Russian Aerospace Forces have performed a series of massive airstrikes from January 22 to 24 against the Islamic state in Syria with pilots performing anywhere from 70 to 100 sorties daily. In the process, they had reportedly liberated 28 towns and villages, including the strategic town of Rabia. They also then engaged ISIS near Deir ez-Zor, where ISIS reportedly has 2,000 militants armed with large-caliber machine guns. Moreover, the Syrian Observatory also reports that Russian warplanes have launched airstrikes in Aleppo.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon says that strikes led by the U.S. and coalition forces against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq continue. Five strikes were recently conducted in Syria while 18 strikes were conducted in Iraq, including near Ramadi where seven of the strikes occurred.