U.S. strike killed at least 100 Russian mercenaries during Syria attack

U.S. strike killed at least 100 Russian mercenaries during Syria attack

U.S. strike killed at least 100 Russian mercenaries during Syria attack

Global press keeps digging up additional details of the February 7 clash between the US and its allies in Syria's Deir el-Zour region and what has reportedly turned out to be a group of private military contractors, most of whom were reportedly Russian nationals, but also included some Ukrainian nationals.

Russia's Defense Ministry said its troops were not involved in the incident while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov would not comment on the issue and said the report needed to be verified.

The US-led coalition said it repelled that attack near the Euphrates River by hundreds of troops aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who were backed by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars.

US military officials said the coalition was in contact with Russian Federation before, during and after Wednesday's attack and had alerted Russian Federation to the presence of SDF forces in that area...

"The Kremlin - seeking to play down its involvement in the fighting in Syria and seemingly hoping to avoid escalating tensions with the United States - has sidestepped questions about the episode", the New York Times wrote of Sunday's drone strike on a Russian-made tank.

Harrigian said the attack by the pro-Assad forces was not a surprise since the USA and its partners had observed them engaged in a slow buildup the week before the attack. We can only operate data on the servicemen of Russian Armed Forces, who take part in the operation of the Russian Airspace forces supporting the Syrian Army. CNN identified several of the slain Russians on Tuesday; they were portrayed as a mixture of mercenaries and "ultranationalists".

Mattis, speaking to reporters Tuesday while traveling in Europe, was adamant he knew of no Russian contractors killed in the fighting, which he attributed to a surprising assault in light of obvious USA advantages, including overwhelming air power.

Last month, Russian Federation signed an energy agreement with Syria pledging to rebuild the country's electricity infrastructure.

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Russian media also cited unconfirmed claims that overall casualties could have been as high as 200 and Russians could have accounted for the bulk of them.

The Syrian proxy war is heating up, especially between the U.S. and Russian Federation.

Moscow's reticence on the matter underlines a key Kremlin balancing act: preventing anti-American sentiments stoked daily on Russian state television from getting out of hand.

"Coalition officials were in regular communication with the Russian counterparts before, during and after the thwarted, unprovoked attack", Veale said.

American forces in Syria reportedly killed more than 100 Russian mercenaries fighting on behalf of the pro-regime military in what could have been the deadliest clash between the two nations since the Cold War.

He said Ananyev had been fighting in Syria for more than a year and was killed when "American artillery smashed the Wagner unit".

Two Russians told the website that 200 of their countrymen died in the failed assault, but a United States official said the death toll was about 100 with another 200 to 300 wounded. The killed Russians took part in a mission conducted by a Russian private military company. However, although the fight against Daesh has nearly ended, the US still continue to support the SDF/YPG with arms and military equipment.

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