Skip to main content

Russia-Ukraine war: Kyiv military posts inaccurate bombing comparison to Syria

Widely condemned post wrongly suggests that just 100 missiles were dropped in Syria over the past five years
A Russian Mil Mi-8 military helicopter flies over the town of al-Qahtaniyah, in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh (AFP/ Delil souleiman)

An innaccurate infographic created and posted by the official Twitter account of Ukraine’s air force that compares the number of missiles dropped in Syria to those dropped in Ukraine has been widely condemned. 

The graphic, which urges people to “realise the scale of the disaster”, wrongly claims that one hundred missiles were dropped in Syria over five years and goes on to say that 1100 were dropped in Ukraine in just 22 days.

In fact, since September 2015, when Russia began its military engagement in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad's administration, Syria has witnessed 45,000 military strikes.

Since April 2019, the Syria-Russian alliance has dropped 30 cluster munitions, at least 21 incendiary weapons, nine missiles, and nearly 5,000 “barrel bombs” in Syria’s Idlib province alone, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

The official Twitter account of the National Guard of Ukraine, a branch of the Ukrainian military, has shared the image. So has Ukrainian MP Lesla Vasylenko.

Many of those who interacted with the posts called out the inaccuracy of the figures and accused those who posted the tweet of attempting to minimise the severity of Syria’s war.

"Whoever thought of this should be utterly ashamed of themselves," wrote Anas Altikriti, founder of the Cordoba Foundation, which aims to “bridge the gap of understanding between the Muslim world and the West.” 

"Almost no nation in modern times has suffered as much as the people of Syria, and to undermine their pain like this is cruel in the extreme," his response read.

Meanwhile, Asim Qureshi, research director of Cage, a London-based campaign group, tweeted: "Genuinely disgusting tweet from an official account. It’s also entirely false and belittles the extra violence wrought on Syrian lives by their own government, Russia and Iran."

“This is weird and unnecessary propaganda,” read another tweet. “The destruction in Ukraine has been immense and does not need validation through minimizing others’ suffering.” 

Syria, which recently entered its eleventh year of war, has witnessed 222 chemical attacks, according to 2019 figures, 217 of which were carried out by the Syrian government.

This is not the first time that inaccurate information has been posted since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

Last month, Middle East Eye reported that much of the misleading footage attributed to the Russia-Ukraine crisis came from the Middle East. Multiple videos and images from Syria, Lebanon, Libya, and Palestine have all falsely been attributed to the Russian invasion.

Western media has also been criticised for its "racist coverage" of the conflict.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.