By Genevieve Casagrande
Key Takeaway: Russian airstrikes continue to primarily target Syrian opposition groups in areas far from ISIS's core terrain. These strikes are concentrated in northwestern Syria, particularly in rebel-held areas of Idlib Province and the northern countryside of Hama Province. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed only three airstrikes targeting positions in known ISIS-held terrain between October 1 and October 3. However, local reporting only confirmed two of these strikes. The Russian air campaign in Syria appears to be largely focused on supporting the Syrian regime and its fight against the Syrian opposition, rather than combatting ISIS.
The following graphic depicts ISW’s assessment of Russian airstrike locations based on reports from local Syrian activist networks, Syrian state-run media, and statements by Russian and Western officials.
High-Confidence reporting. ISW places high confidence in reports corroborated both by official government statements reported through credible channels and documentation from rebel factions or activist networks on the ground in Syria deemed to be credible.
Low-Confidence reporting. ISW places low confidence in secondary sources that have not been confirmed or sources deemed likely to contain disinformation.