Russian air strikes 'kill more civilians than Isil fighters' - Daily Telegraph


Russian air strikes 'kill more civilians than Isil fighters’

*Russia’s bombing of Syria has led to more deaths of civilians than it has of Islamic State fighters, according to new figures *

Russian air strikes in Syria have killed more civilians than they have Isil militants despite Moscow’s claims that its military intervention was intended to defeat the group.

Michael Fallon, Britain’s Defence Secretary, said he ‘deplored’ Moscow’s use of unguided munitions on civilians and rebel groups fighting the Syrian regime.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 1,000 civilians have been killed during Russia’s four month bombing campaign. By comparison, the strikes had killed 893 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) fighters, and 1141 militants from other factions, the monitoring group said.

One of Bashar al-Assad’s staunchest allies, Russia began air strikes on the government’s behalf at the end of September. Territorial gains have been limited but experts say Moscow has achieved its primary aim of shoring up the regime’s north-west heartland in the face of rebel advances.


It is likely that more civilians are killed than the Islamic terrorists because they shelter their operations deliberately among the young, old and women. To rid this evil it will require a
combination of methods other than the “barrel bombing” that has been carried out plus whatever Russia’s planes are delivering. If Putin has a spark of caring he could change his targets and really hit ISIS where it hurts. His goals for being in Syria haven’t shown a high priority on ISIS so far.


In the case of the Islamic State, there are no official uniforms. They can blend into the population easily. We don’t have the Intelligence information the Russians or Americans do. Aside from some obvious military vehicles, virtually any truck can be weaponized, ammo dumps can be scattered anywhere and so on. Who knows who their leaders are, how are they funded? Expended ammunition does not replace itself.

So it is no surprise to hear more civilians are killed. Civilians could be walking down the street, and behind them, an identical looking civilian fires an RPG and disappears. Or a group of civilians could be planting a road bomb and unless a drone is in the area, they finish and walk away, moments after. A “civilian” lookout is in an average building with a remote detonator to activate explosives placed elsewhere.



Since there is no way to distinguish between a civilian and an Isil fighter, who’s to say that more civilians are getting killed?
Could not a lot of the dead actually be fighters?
Not that Russia would much care, of course. Humanitarianism is not a primary motivating value outside of the established democratic West.


The main source for almost every story coming out of Syria seems to be the Syrian Human Rights Observatory; look for their name in every article.

One could also make the case that Russia is carrying on as Assad did before, not attacking ISIS that much but attacking rebels. Even with Russia there, the Syrian Human Rights Observatory reports the regime continues to use “barrel bombs”, fairly primitive weapons. This all says a lot.

One can pick and choose when they want to believe the Observatory which also reports on atrocities by ISIS and Al Nusra or civilians hit in the US coalition strikes; but the point is, SHRO or some other observers are who make these reports. In the past their data was used, so to be consistent, it does not seem proper to then dismiss it when it is inconvenient.


If true (and I wouldn’t doubt it), Russia doesn’t care anyway.

Welcome to fighting Russia. It shouldn’t be a surprise.


This type of thread surfaces every now and then apparently to basically show how ruthless the Russians are how good we Americans are. Granted, the Russians probably do take less precautions than the Americans to avoid unnecessary deaths. However, there are examples of American collateral damage, as well. They may not be as publicized, but they are there.

As indicated in other threads, how does one effectively separate the good from the bad? These individuals (ISIS or other Middle Eastern militant groups) perpetually integrate themselves into the general populous and in and out again, and they join various equally as ruthless militant groups and then move to the next. So the idea of effectively isolating these individuals and killing only them is not possible. They are not 18th century British soldiers who march forward in bright red uniforms in a straight row so we can identify who they are. They are guerilla fighters.

Possibly a bad analogy but one they does illustrate what I am saying is: Suppose you had a cancer on one of your organs. They would either use chemotherapy, radiation or a surgical procedure to remove the cancer. In either method usually some healthy tissue will be damaged or removed in the process of destroying or removing the cancer. Sometimes if things have spread too far it is necessary to remove the whole organ or other tissue surrounding it. That is basically how one has to deal with ISIS. You don’t always get to remove only the diseased part.

Trying to pick the grain of pepper out of the sugar jar with a pair of tweezers doesn’t work, just like it didn’t work in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan. What it does it extend our military presence perpetually for years and years and cause more deaths and insurmountable costs to our various nations. We become an eternal presence and establish our military bases there and try to run the show. It is not a good method to win friend and influence people. Do we honestly think we can go into these countries, “Hi I am from America, we are going to have a war, here are the rules and when we are done you will really like me and accept my value system; your chess move.” That unfortunately is our philosophy, It isn’t working. History says it doesn’t work.
We have to accept that war is ugly. If we enter a war, we are going to have all kind of tragedies and death. There will be all kinds of horrible atrocities that occur on both sides. They don’t play by our rules. That is reality. They don’t accept or appreciate our “rules”.

I am basically a non-interventionist when it comes to involvement in the internal affairs of other nations, except in rare instances. However, as a general rule we should avoid it. This philosophy make me as about as popular on this forum as someone wearing a Denver Broncos jersey to a New England Patriots rally.

If you don’t want war or hear about horrible things, don’t get involved in them. Unfortunate as they may be, these terrible things do occur in war.


I think a lot of your evaluation is correct regarding the methods of eliminating a dangerous and cancerous enemy. “Winning the minds and hearts” IMO would be great but so far its been here and there. Many, may want to seek and protect their people and will do so to their credit. But, the culture seems to be so particalized, with hard to share priorities, its like herding cats.

When (and if) we (the U.S.) gets up to snuff, ridding the fatal danger we have now can begin in ernest. Eliminating their ability to terrorize our populous and helping those who ask for our assistance in ridding this scourge will be priority #1 for the U.S. We need to elect a President that will share our prayers and help end abortion.

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