Activists: 3,800 Syrian civilians killed in a year of Russian airstrikes

Updated 8:42 AM EDT, Fri September 30, 2016
syria aleppo rescue_00015004.jpg
Thaer Mohammed
syria aleppo rescue_00015004.jpg
Now playing
01:50
Syria: 5-year-old rescued from collapsed building
Brooke Baldwin last show goodbye CNN newsroom vpx_00000217.png
CNN
Brooke Baldwin last show goodbye CNN newsroom vpx_00000217.png
Now playing
03:56
'Get a little uncomfortable': See Brooke Baldwin's last words on air
Now playing
01:24
How Kyra Sedgwick got the cops called on Tom Cruise
Now playing
05:18
Anderson Cooper explains how he overcomes being shy
US Navy
Now playing
01:28
Pentagon confirms UFO video is real, taken by Navy pilot
Kristina Barboza
Now playing
03:09
Grieving mom's advice to other families: You can try to help, support and love
Fancy Feast/Purina
Now playing
01:06
Cat food company makes a cookbook ... for humans
Now playing
02:35
WWII veteran: End of the war was 'the biggest thrill of my life'
Google Earth's new timelapse feature
Google
Google Earth's new timelapse feature
Now playing
01:09
Google Earth's new Timelapse feature shows 40 years of climate change in just seconds
FOX/"The Masked Singer"
Now playing
01:23
'The Masked Singer' reveals identity of The Orca
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin on December 07, 2017 in London, England. Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Lightcoin have seen unprecedented growth in 2017, despite remaining extremely volatile. While digital currencies across the board have divided opinion between financial institutions, and now have a market cap of around 175 Billion USD, the crypto sector coninues to grow, as it continues to see wider mainstreem adoption. The price of one Bitcoin passed 15,000 USD across many exchanges today taking it higher than previous all time highs.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin on December 07, 2017 in London, England. Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Lightcoin have seen unprecedented growth in 2017, despite remaining extremely volatile. While digital currencies across the board have divided opinion between financial institutions, and now have a market cap of around 175 Billion USD, the crypto sector coninues to grow, as it continues to see wider mainstreem adoption. The price of one Bitcoin passed 15,000 USD across many exchanges today taking it higher than previous all time highs. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:07
Bitcoin has an energy problem
The new all-electric Mercedes-EQS
Mercedes-Benz AG
The new all-electric Mercedes-EQS
Now playing
01:05
See the new all-electric EQS luxury sedan from Mercedes
Now playing
01:32
Scientists turned spiderwebs into music and it sounds like a nightmare
Jeopardy Productions, Inc.
Now playing
01:02
Aaron Rodgers' Green Bay Packers question stumps 'Jeopardy!' contestants
Now playing
05:18
Coinbase CFO: We're an on-ramp to the crypto economy
CNN
Now playing
02:12
'Too dangerous to do anymore': Sacha Baron Cohen on Borat

Story highlights

Russian strikes have "increased the bloodshed of the Syrian people," group says

UN official denounces Security Council for humanitarian disaster in Syria

(CNN) —  

Around 3,800 civilians, almost a quarter of them children, have been killed in Russian airstrikes in Syria in the year since Russia began its air campaign there, according to a UK-based monitoring group.

The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights released the stark figures to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s direct intervention in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

According to figures collated by the group, Russian airstrikes killed 2,337 men, 906 children and 561 women in the past year.

During the same period, it said, Russian warplanes killed 2,746 ISIS fighters, along with 2,814 rebels.

CNN cannot independently confirm the figures.

The activist group’s grim toll comes as rebel-held districts of Aleppo reel from an intense weeklong aerial bombardment by Syrian and Russian warplanes while the Assad regime prepares to take the northern city.

Sending a message to international community

In a statement, the group said Russia’s actions had “increased the bloodshed of the Syrian people, which have made tens of thousands of them dead, injured or homeless.”

It said it was releasing the “shocking” statistics to “send a message to the international community” about the pain and suffering of the Syrian people.

Russia and Syria maintain their military operations in Syria are directed at combating terrorism, a position US and UK diplomats have blasted at the United Nations in recent days.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reiterated that message Friday to Russian broadcaster Govorit Moskva, according to state-run Russian news outlet Sputnik.

“In Syria, Russia is pursuing only one specific goal, it has been determined and announced – it is the fight against the international terrorism,” Sputnik quoted Zakharova as saying in a report on the anniversary of the Russian air campaign in Syria.

An unnamed Syrian lieutenant, also quoted by Sputnik, said Russia’s intervention had helped improve the situation. “Russian aircraft have brought Syrians hope for life and security,” the lieutenant is cited as saying, adding that the Syrian army was closely coordinating with Russian forces.

“In Latakia alone, dozens of villages were liberated in several months (after the Russian operation was launched). Thousands of people returned to their homes.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that the Russian air force would continue its support of the Syrian armed forces.

’Ultimate humanitarian shame’

The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights’ casualty figures were released a day after a senior UN humanitarian affairs official condemned the international community’s response to the crisis in Aleppo, where he says war crimes are being committed.

The official, Stephen O’Brien, called the civil war the “ultimate humanitarian shame that is Syria today, and in east Aleppo in particular.”

O’Brien lambasted the inaction – “be it through unwillingness or inability” – of the international community to intervene in the crisis, which has escalated since the disintegration of a ceasefire last week.

Repeating the accusations of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, O’Brien said the destruction of medical facilities in rebel-held eastern Aleppo and the use of “ever more destructive weapons” means that those using them “know they are committing war crimes.”