As a result of Russian air raids in Syria, which began four years ago, nearly 8,300 civilians have been killed, including about 2,000 children, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.
According to the Syrian human rights activists, during the same period, Russian air raids resulted in the deaths of around 5,500 rebel fighters and around 5,200 jihadist militants. This means that civilian casualties account for more than 40% of the deaths, the report notes.
Russia is one of the most important allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime. Russian aircraft have been bombing rebel and jihadist regions in Syria since September 30, 2015. Thanks to Russian support, the Assad regime has succeeded in regaining control over most of Syria. After eight and a half years of civil war, the Syrian government controls roughly two thirds of the country.
Hospitals and critically important infrastructure have repeatedly been hit during raids by Russian and Syrian aircraft. Critics accuse Moscow and Damascus of deliberately targeting such facilities. In August, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres ordered an investigation of such violations in Idlib, the last major rebel-controlled region of Syria.