United States vows investigation into deadly Syria attack involving Russian mercenaries

Casey Dawson
February 21, 2018

The Russian Foreign Ministry says that "several dozen" citizens of Russia and other former Soviet republics who are not members of the military were wounded in a recent battle with US -led forces in Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has voiced concern that United States actions in Syria are aimed at partitioning Syria and accused Washington of using the Kurds to undermine the Arab Republic's territorial integrity.

Russia has backed Syria's fight against terror since late 2015 when Russian air force and troops arrived in the Arab country at an official request of Damascus to help the government fight against Daesh and other Takfiri militants.

"There are citizens of Russian Federation and the CIS countries among those killed, which had been earlier reported, and there are also wounded individuals - several dozen of them", the ministry said in a comment. "We'll work with obviously anyone who can answer that question".

As Russia's Defense Ministry announced earlier, the Syrian militia fighters came under the coalition's strikes in the province of Deir ez-Zor on February 7 due to actions uncoordinated with the Russian military.

"But they took directions from someone".

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She would take over from outgoing secretary general Peter Tauber, who is stepping down from the role after a period of illness. But "to interpret her as a simple copy of Merkel would be a misunderstanding", Die Welt newspaper commented.

Russian military officers told the United States during the incident that Moscow was not involved.

"Was it local direction?"

"I doubt that 257 people all just decided on their individual own selves to suddenly cross the river into enemy territory and start shelling a location and maneuvering tanks against it", Mattis said.

Private military company "Wagner" - Russian illegal private military structure.

Taking advantage of the ongoing conflict, the Kurds had already proclaimed a semi-autonomous state in the regions stretching across Syria's northern border in 2011.

The statement appears to confirm media reports last week that said scores of Russian mercenaries were being treated at Russian military hospitals.

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