Russians in Syria | December 2021 | Images and updates

Syria | December of 2021 | Latest images and updates on the actions of Russian forces in Syria


On September 30, 2015, the Russian Federation formally entered the Syrian "civil" war as the Syrian government was increasingly under threat.

Since 2011, intense fighting had weakened the Syrian Arab Army. Even the support of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the deployment of Iranian militias and regular shipments of Russian weaponry had not been enough to stop the advance of the radical armed groups.

In March 2015, the Syrian government lost a second provincial capital, Idlib, when Jaish al-Fattah, a loose coalition of various armed groups, headed by Jabhat al-Nusra (aka al-Qaeda in Syria) led a successful offensive on the city in the country’s northwest.

The provincial capital of Raqqa, with its strategic oil and water resources, had been captured the previous year and had become the main stronghold of the rising Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

In addition, the Syrian government had lost control of large swathes of several provinces – Idlib, Aleppo, Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor, Hasakah, Daraa and Quneitra – and was struggling to control Hama, Homs and the Damascus countryside.

The Russian intervention stopped the advance of the radical militants, which was backed by the West, Turkey and the Gulf, and effectively preserved the government in Damascus.