Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Russian Federation accuses U.S. of trying to maintain control over eastern Syria

Russian Federation accuses U.S. of trying to maintain control over eastern Syria

Russian media said the Russian private contractors were part of pro-government forces that advanced on oil fields in the eastern Deir el-Zour province and were targeted by the United States.

It said in a statement last week that the operation came after some 500 pro-government forces attacked a group of US-backed opposition forces in the region.

The associates named the dead as Vladimir Loginov, a Cossack from Russia's western Kaliningrad region, and Kirill Ananyev, a radical nationalist from Moscow. Russian nationals killed in the USA -led counter-strike include Vladimir Loginov, Kirill Ananyev, Alexei Ladygin, Stanislav Matveyev and Igor Kosoturov, some of whom had earlier fought in Donbass, according to the Conflict Intelligence Team.

The reports cited activists who said at least four Russian citizens were killed in Syria on Wednesday.

If Russian deaths from the U.S. strike are confirmed, it would mean the two countries were on the verge of a direct military confrontation in Syria.

"If there has been mass deaths of Russian citizens in Syria, then the relevant authorities, including the general staff of the Russian armed forces, have a duty to inform the country about this and decide who bears responsibility", Yavlinsky, who is running against Putin in next month's election, said on Twitter.

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The ISIS Hunters specifically condemned both the U.S. Coalition and the Kurdish forces that are now in control of the majority of the northeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.

Russian Federation also denies having personnel in the area.

At no point, an American military spokesman said, was there any chance of direct conflict between United States and Russian forces. They reported that they had a training base in Russia's Krasnodar Krai region, and that numerous men in the group had fought in Ukraine's Donbas war on the side of the separatists. However, it is possible that the Russian military was not aware of the attack planned by the Russian contract soldiers acting on orders of the Assad regime.

"The Russians professed that they were not aware when we called them about that force that had crossed [the Euphrates]".

For the most part, the US-led coalition has managed to skirt the edges of Syria's civil war by staying focused on the Islamic State group.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday it had no information about Russian mercenaries reportedly being killed in last week's attack.

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Two Trump administration officials said the U.S used a military hotline to communicate with the Russian side to warn that it was about to launch air strikes.

Mr Yavlinsky said fierce mercenary forces "are trained at Russian army facilities" and "receive military awards in the Kremlin" in secret.

He also suggested that contractors or employees of Russian private military companies have Hassama was not. I can't give you anything on that.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis played down the incident, saying: "This could just be a local couple of guys doing something".

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 recent days, rumors swirled online in Russian Federation that large numbers of those military contractors had perished under American fire.

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