June 2020 | Russian airstrikes leave civilian fatalities for the first time in three months
The Russian forces completed their 57th month of military operations in Syria. SOHR has monitored the return of killing of civilians by Russian aircraft during the ninth month of the 5th year, despite the new ceasefire agreed upon after the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Receb Tayyip Erdogan on March 5.
During the 57th month of Russia’s military operations in Syria, SOHR activists have documented the death of one civilian in Russian airstrikes on Idlib countryside. In addition, SOHR activists also documented the killing of 37 ISIS members in Russian airstrikes on their positions in the Syrian desert.
Between the 30th of September 2015 and the 30th of June 2020, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the death of 20,108 persons distributed as follows:
- 8,650 civilians: 2,098 children under the age of eighteen, 1,317 females over the age of eighteen, 5,235 men and young people
- 5,330 ISIS members
- 6,128 fighters of rebel and Islamic Factions, Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham, the Islamic Turkestani Party, and fighters of Arab and foreign nationalities.
SOHR sources have reported that Russia used the “Thermite-type explosives” in their airstrikes, a substance composed of aluminium powder and iron oxide which causes burns as it continues to ignite for about 180 seconds; some of the bombs used by Russian jets on the Syrian territory were loaded with this substance.
It has been discovered that they are “RBK-500 ZAB 2.5 SM” cluster incendiary bombs each weighed about 500 kg (about 1100 pounds) and they were dropped by military aircraft. They carried anti-individuals and anti-vehicles small sized bombs of the type (AO 2.5 RTM), loaded with 50 to 110 small-sized bombs stuffed with “Thermite”, which outpour out of it when they explode; the range of this anti-individuals and anti-vehicles bombs reaches 20 to 30 meters.