Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Dozens of Russians wounded in Syria: Russian FM

Dozens of Russians wounded in Syria: Russian FM

"In Syria there are Russian citizens who went there on their own and with different goals".

"They are clearly not interested or willing in escalating on their behalf", said Michael Hanna, a Middle East expert at the Century Foundation.The United States has confirmed that a force loyal to Bashar al-Assad and supported by artillery attacked a Syrian Democratic Forces base manned by Kurdish troops and American advisers on February 7 around Deir Ezzor.

The Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), a respected group of Russian online researchers, has named 10 citizens killed in the USA air strikes.

Russia's assistance has proved to be a major success as Syria has managed to liberate key areas over the past years, including the second largest city of Aleppo, relying on Russia's air cover and military advice.

Moscow has provided no details of what the mercenaries were doing, but accounts of the operation have emerged in interviews with family members.

The Foreign Ministry said "several dozen" Russians were injured and an unspecified number died in United States airstrikes during the clashes on the night of February 7.

Mercenaries not directly affiliated with the Russian military may be convenient for Moscow's interests in Syria while assuring deniability of government involvement.

Under the deal, the company would capture and secure oil and gas infrastructure in Syria in exchange for a 25 percent share in future resource production.

"We have more and more evidence, which makes it possible to doubt that our Western counterparts in the US-led coalition are ready to fight Jabhat al-Nusra in earnest, despite the fact that it has been added to all resolutions and has been designated as a terrorist organization by the UN Security Council", the minister said.

Three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last week that about 300 men working for a Kremlin-linked Russian private military firm had been either killed or injured in a clash in Syria with the US-led coalition.

"Was it local direction?"

Russian Federation has admitted for the first time that it suffered heavy casualties in an ill-fated operation against US-backed forces in Syria earlier this month. "Don't ask me. I don't know", he said, according to a Pentagon transcript.

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