Russia Has Killed Almost 10,000 Syrians in the Past Year, Says a New Report

That includes nearly 4,000 civilians.

A Russian attack aircraft taking off from the Hemeimeem air base in SyriaRussian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP

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Russia’s military has killed almost 10,000 people, including nearly 4,000 civilians, in Syria over the past year, according to a new report from a London-based group that monitors the Syrian civil war.

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was able to document the death of 9364 civilians and fighters from the rebel and Islamic Factions, Fath al-Sham Front [formerly the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front] and the ‘Islamic state’ in the past 12 months,” the group wrote on its website on Friday. Russian airstrikes have killed more civilians (3,804) than members of ISIS (2,746) or members of rebel and other Islamic groups (2,814), according to SOHR. The civilian death count includes 906 children under the age of 18.

The Russian air force started bombing operations in Syria last September in support of the Syrian government’s military. While the Russian government claimed the strikes were being carried out against ISIS, the air campaign has heavily targeted non-Islamist rebel groups and civilian areas held by rebels. Russian aircraft frequently strike hospitals and other medical facilities and have been blamed for the bombing of a UN aid convoy during a short-lived ceasefire last week.

Russian air support has allowed the Syrian regime to consolidate its battlefield gains and even advance in some areas, despite being short on soldiers and increasingly reliant on allies including Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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