Led coalition kills dozens of Russians in Syria?

14 February, 2018, 18:55 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Led coalition kills dozens of Russians in Syria?

"I'm not willing to say that the Russians have lost influence or gained influence". "I advise you to contact the defence ministry".

On Tuesday, it was reported that activist of The Other Russia party, Kirill Ananyev was killed as a result of the US-led attack in the north of Syria, RIA Novosti said with reference to coordinator of the party, Alexander Averin.

The two sides have previously been careful to keep a communication channel to avoid collisions and confrontation between their warplanes and soldiers in the chaotic battlefield.

Also on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the United States was acting in a "dangerous way", undermining Syria's integrity through unilateral actions. Circumstances of the conflict have not been established so far.

A number of reports on social media began circulating this week, suggesting that anywhere from "several dozens" up to 644 Russian "mercenaries" were killed in clashes with US-backed Kurdish forces in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor last week.

He said: "They are, in essence, special troops of the Russian army - despite the fact that mercenaries and private military companies are officially banned in Russia".

Quoting a Pentagon official, CBS News first reported on 8 February that Russian mercenaries were among "pro-regime" forces that attacked the SDF base.

The Russian Defense Ministry has insisted that its troops weren't involved in the incident, saying 25 Syrian volunteers were wounded in the US strike.

The US, with its advisers stationed at the base alongside Syrian Democratic Forces troops, responded with a combination of aircraft and artillery fire.

Mattis would not confirm whether Russian Federation did, or did not control the group of mercenaries. The Ministry of Defence meanwhile denied that the Syrian operation had been coordinated with Russian military command.

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Without mentioning the USA strike, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday "Americans have taken risky unilateral steps".

He added that "those steps look increasingly as part of efforts to create a quasi-state on a large part of Syrian territory - from the eastern bank of the Euphrates River all the way to the border with Iraq".

Bloomberg reported Russia's military as saying that it had nothing to do with the attack. It's also the most visible manifestation of American-on-Russian violence, even if the erstwhile Cold War adversaries were not technically engaged against each other. Those claims couldn't be verified.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman declined to provide any details.

Russian Federation officially withdrew regular forces from Syria in December after two years of fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad, but hundreds of private military contractors and mercenaries remained.

Russian opposition politician Grigory Yavlinsky, urged Mr Putin to come clean to using mercenaries to defend Syrian president Bashar-al-Assad.

Over the weekend, reports emerged on Russian blogs and elsewhere that an unknown number of Russian contract soldiers were killed. The firm has not commented on the reports.

While the US has used private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan for years, Russian law forbids the hiring of mercenaries or working as one even though Russia has used proxies in eastern Ukraine, where it has backed pro-Moscow separatists since 2014.

Around 600 fighters with artillery and tanks, most Russian-speakers, took part in the attempt to storm the base, according to one of the people familiar with the matter.

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