Skip to content
Opinion
Ruth Pollard

What Could Putin Throw at Ukraine? Look at What He Did to Syria

The precedents are terrifying, and the same weaponry has moved into Russia’s current theater of war.

Syrians look to Ukraine — and weep.

Syrians look to Ukraine — and weep.

Photographer: Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images

For those shocked by images of Ukrainian civilians targeted by Russian air strikes, I have one word for you: Syria. 

Moscow’s indiscriminate bombing campaign in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal war against his own people — including attacks on hospitals, schools, residential neighborhoods and markets — killed thousands of civilians. Its year-long military offensive in the rebel-held province of Idlib in 2019 was particularly savage, forcing as many as 1.4 million people from their homes.