Russians Believed Killed in US Syria Attack

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The Guardian says that if the high number of casualties is confirmed, it would be "the most lethal clash between U.S. and Russian citizens since the end of the cold war". The commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command said he was not going to speculate on the composition of the group that carried out the attack against U.S. -backed forces. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called the whole thing "perplexing", but provided no further details.

The Russian Defense Ministry charged that the incident reflected a US push to grab Syria's economic assets under the cover of fighting the Islamic State group.

Russian Federation does not rule out that the United States intends to stay in Syria for a long time, "if not forever", he went on.

According to previous CNN reports, the global US-led coalition against Daesh (banned in Russia) on February 7 struck Syrian pro-government forces. With Islamic State, which once controlled large swaths of Syria, now largely defeated, rival powers and militias are fighting in various combinations to fill the vacuum.

On Jan. 30 participants at the Congress agreed to set up a committee to rewrite the Syrian constitution in Geneva and to hold democratic elections in Syria.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday: "We have no information regarding other Russians who may be in Syria".

"The tank had been maneuvering with coordinated indirect fire on a defensive position occupied by Syrian Democratic Forces and Coalition advisers", US Marine Corps Maj. They counted on the US having too little time to target them without risking casualties among its mainly Kurdish allies, but strikes began when only half the force had made it to the base, Kommersant newspaper reported, citing a former comrade of the mercenaries. The coalition did not suffer any fatalities and "enemy vehicles and personnel who turned around and headed back west were not targeted".

It also noted pro-government forces that advanced toward the area under control of the US-supported forces had failed to coordinate their action with the Russian military in Syria. The US responded with airstrikes that killed about 100 of the attackers, according to the coalition, with the rest retreating.

"He wasn't an official military service member" and used to be a volunteer in Donbass, Averin said, adding that Ananyev is survived by his wife and children.


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.

According to Harrigian, the pro-Assad forces initiated the attack by firing artillery and tanks rounds at SDF positions. The fighters had no air cover or mobile air defense to protect them during the fighting, they said.

Yury Barmin, a Middle East analyst at the Russian International Affairs Council, a think tank set up by the Kremlin, said Russia supports Assad's efforts to reclaim the "crucial" eastern region of Deir Ezzor to help fund his national reconstruction and reconciliation plan, which the USA opposes.

The escalation of violence comes as Israel and Iran face-off inside Syrian airspace, with Assad's forces shooting down an Israeli F16 fighter jet using equipment supplied by Tehran.

He also suggested that contractors or employees of Russian private military companies have Hassama was not.

A representative of the Syrian Foreign Ministry, Ayman Soussan, said during Tuesday's press conference "we are not bound by anything that is formed by foreign sides, whatever their name or state, we are not bound by it, and it is of no concern to us". "We are not looking for a fight with anyone else".

If the US did kill Russian military contractors, it falls short of killing official Russian service members, which could escalate into a larger war.

The reports follow one from Reuters on Monday, where former associates of two of the Russians killed identified them to the news wire.

On Twitter, Russian opposition politician Grigory Yavlinsky called on his country's government to reveal the truth about last week's shocking attack. On Saturday, US forces struck a Russian-designed T-72 tank in roughly the same location as the fighting on 7 February.

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