Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Russian airstrikes kill 7 civilians in Syria's Idlib

Russian airstrikes kill 7 civilians in Syria's Idlib

Russian mercenaries in Syria were killed last week in a deadly clash when United States forces carried out air strikes against a pro-regime force, a United States official and three Russians who have knowledge about the matter reportedly revealed.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refrained from comment, saying on Tuesday that the reports need to be verified.

"These are not Russian service personnel", Zakharova said, referring to the casualties in February 7 clashes near the Syrian city of Deir al-Zor.

"I can't give you anything on that".

When the SDF post came under fire, the U.S. responded, killing some 100 of the attackers-roughly 1/5 of the enemy force. "They are not affiliated with the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation", Peskov said, adding that the citizens of the Russian Federation "remain citizens of the Russian Federation, whatever it takes".

The Pentagon says it is in constant contact with Russian forces on the ground as part of an existing de-confliction agreement that had been agreed between Washington and Moscow.

The officials said the USA was puzzled because proper procedures had been followed - American forces used the deconfliction line to get Russia's go-ahead to defend coalition forces against the attackers.

Kuwait conference reviews support to Iraqi people
Both the Journal and Reuters acknowledged that most of the fighting during the ISIS war took place in seven Iraqi provinces. Iraq is the 10th most corrupt country in the world, according to Transparency International.

Pentagon officials claim that U.S. special operations forces working as advisers to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) came under attack from a Soviet-made T-72 battle tank operated by pro-government forces.

The multi-sided conflict is also raging elsewhere, with Turkey waging an offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces in the Afrin region of northwestern Syria, while on Saturday, Syrian government anti-aircraft fire downed an Israeli warplane returning from a bombing raid on Iran-backed positions in Syria.

Forces loyal to the Syrian government were firing mortars and small-arms Saturday while moving toward the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces and their USA advisers near Al Tabiyeh, coalition officials said.

Grigory Yavlinsky, a liberal Russian politician who is running in next month's presidential election, also suggested there were Russian deaths in Syria.

At least two Russian fighters were killed in USA air strikes in north-eastern Syria last week, their associates have told the BBC. It said a total of 23 people were killed, including the 15 Russians.

"We don't have information about other Russians who might be in Syria", he said.

However, the Secretary to the US Department of Defense, James Mattis denied having any knowledge of Russian fighters who were killed last week during the counter-attacks by American-led coalition forces.

Russian Federation accuses U.S. of trying to maintain control over eastern Syria
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis played down the incident, saying: "This could just be a local couple of guys doing something". The Kremlin said on Tuesday it had no information about Russian mercenaries reportedly being killed in last week's attack.

Russian media also cited unconfirmed claims that overall casualties could have been as high as 200 and Russians could have accounted for the bulk of them.

"All the ingredients are present if we don't do anything about it urgently for a major regional and worldwide confrontation", said France's ambassador Francois Delattre.

It said it was in regular communication with Russian counterparts before, during and after the attack, and Russian officials assured coalition officials they would not strike coalition forces.

It was eventually revealed that Russian military contractors were mixed in with the Assad regime's allies in that attack, and a number of them were killed.

"Far from winding down, Syria's civil war is threatening to trigger direct conflicts between the United States and Turkey, Israel and Iran, and even the United States and Russian Federation".

More than 200 contract soldiers, mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, died in a failed attack on a base held by US and mainly Kurdish forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, two of the Russians said.

And responding to a further BBC question, the spokesman said: " And, of course, you have to realise that many countries of the world have quite large numbers of our compatriots - of Russians - and, of course, it's hard to have detailed data.

Commerce Department Offers Trump Ammunition for His Trade War
He included among the options a tariff of almost 24 percent on all products from China, Russia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Venezuela. We call on President Trump to act swiftly and boldly to save the American aluminum industry.

Like this: