Coalition destroys Russian-made tank in Syria

Coalition destroys Russian-made tank in Syria

When asked about their reported deaths, CIA Director Mike Pompeo told a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing yesterday that he would leave specifics to the Pentagon but "we have seen in multiple instances foreign forces using mercenaries in battles that will begin to approach the United States".

Apparently, these contract soldiers, some of whom may have belonged to a Russian private military company known as the Wagner Group, tried to advance on a base located east of Deir el-Zour held by USA and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reported last week that any Russian deaths in the US airstrikes would mark a first in the Syrian conflict.

The US and its allies back militants fighting to topple the Syrian government.

"The Kremlin has no desire to go to war with the USA a month before the election", Frolov said.

"The reason for the incident was lack of coordination between the reconnaissance movements of the Syrian insurgents and the Russian operative command", the ministry said in its statement on Thursday.

In a second episode, the USA struck a Russian-made T-72 battle tank on Saturday after it "took a shot at us" in the same general area of Deir el-Zour province, Harrigian said, adding that he did not know who was operating the tank.

He added no USA personnel were killed or wounded, though one member of the Syrian Democratic forces was injured.

Some observers alleged that the attackers might have been tempted to take over the oil facilities because of a rumored relocation of some of the Kurdish fighters there to the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria, which is facing a Turkish offensive. "Russian officials assured coalition officials they would not engage coalition forces in the vicinity".

Both Russian and USA officials said they had no information on Russian losses in Syria on February 7.

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News media highlighted the denounciations of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, on the preparation of a provocation on the part of extremist groups in the province of Idlib, where they transferred 20 gas cylinders full of chlorine. "The purposes for their stay in war zones are different, including participation in hostilities", Zakharova said, noting that it was hard to trace all of them. "The Russians professed that they were not aware when we called them about that force that had crossed the Euphrates".

"Reports about the deaths of dozens or hundreds of citizens are classic disinformation", she said.

However, reports have surfaced alleging that at least five Russian men fighting informally with pro-government forces were killed in last week's clashes. "The information is being verified".

Russian news, as well as agency Bloomberg, reports that an "unknown number" of Russian military contractors had been killed in the ferocious American attack last week. No Russian military servicemen were in the area, according to the ministry.

Most, if not all of the soldiers were affiliated to the pseudo-mercenary Wagner military group.

The Russian government denies any official involvement in the incident.

The Russian military subsequently disavowed the operation and the citizens who participated it.

Realistically, the aspect appearing to prevent this from becoming a risky global incident is the apparent understanding on both sides that Russian Federation admitting to a massacre of its troops could necessitate a powerful response.

The U.S.is in talks with Russian Federation now in search of an explanation for what happened, said two administration officials who asked not to be identified discussing private conversations.