Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

US Kills 100+ Russian Troops

US Kills 100+ Russian Troops

Most of those killed and injured were Russian and Ukrainian, many of them veterans of the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, according to Alexander Ionov, who runs a Kremlin-funded group that fosters ties to separatists and who's personally fought alongside pro-government forces in Syria.

The U.S. Defense Department said the air strikes, which included fighter and ground-attack aircraft and Marine artillery, were launched after as many as 500 attackers waged a coordinated assault on a base housing Syrian opposition forces, along with U.S. military advisers in Deir al-Zor.

He also added that the Euphrates river has always been used as a line of demarcation between USA forces and the opposition, and the troops of Russian Federation and the government of Syria.

One US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said at least two pro-Syrian government forces were killed.

The Baltic Cossack District said in a statement that Loginov was a Russian citizen who was killed in an "unequal battle" while "heroically defending our Fatherland in its far reaches from insane barbarians" when he died on February 7.

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"We have details of servicemen of the Russian armed forces, who are taking part in the Russian military operation in support of the Syrian army", Dmitry Peskov said. "We're dealing with an unusual situation", though it shouldn't be blown out of proportion, he said.

They also come weeks ahead of Russia's March 18 presidential election.

The United States initially said that about 100 pro-government forces were killed in the February 7 counterattack.

The U.S. counterattack involved the use of F-15 fighter jets, B-52 bombers, AC-130 gunships and Apache combat helicopters as well as MQ-9 Reaper drones.

Citing Natalya Krylova, a municipal lawmaker in the town of Asbestos in the Urals, the state news agency Tass said local residents Igor Kosoturov and Stanislav Matveyev were killed in the strike.

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In the past several years, the United States has supported some opposition groups in Syria which it called "moderates" against the Syrian government and also led an global coalition to battle the IS group.

Russian media have reported that, in addition to Russian forces deployed to Syria, thousands of Russians have also fought there as private contractors, most serving with the Wagner Group.

However, Russian law forbids the hiring of mercenaries or working as one.

"The fact that somebody chose to attack us, and the Russians are saying, "It's not us, ' and we are firing on them to stop the artillery fire, that, to me, is not a failure of the deconfliction line", Mattis explained". I can't give you anything on that.

Russian mercenaries have been reported in Syria before. The firm has not commented on the reports.

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There's a refinery in Deir Ezzor that once funded Islamic State operations that's now "crucial" to Assad's plans to finance the reconstruction of Syria once a peace deal is finally reached, according to Yury Barmin, a Middle East analyst at the Russian International Affairs Council in Moscow. "In general, we have a suspicion.... that the United States wants to stay there for a long time, if not forever", Lavrov told a press conference after talks with his Belgian counterpart, Didier Reynders. In recent days, rumors swirled online in Russian Federation that large numbers of those military contractors had perished under American fire.

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