Report: U.S. Airstrikes Killed Hundreds of Russians in Syria | NTK Network Report: U.S. Airstrikes Killed Hundreds of Russians in Syria

Report: U.S. Airstrikes Killed Hundreds of Russians in Syria

The report from Bloomberg revealed that hundreds of Russian mercenaries attacked a U.S. base in Syria, prompting a devastating response from American forces.

By NTK Staff | 02.13.2018 @4:30pm
Report: U.S. Airstrikes Killed Hundreds of Russians in Syria

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that U.S. airstrikes cut down hundreds of Russian mercenaries attacking a U.S. base in Syria last week, a significant escalation between citizens of the world’s two largest nuclear powers.

Details of the attack confused U.S. officials, with many speculating that it was a “rogue operation,” according to a summary of events:

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 U.S. and mainly Kurdish forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, two of the Russians said. The U.S. official put the death toll at about 100, with 200 to 300 injured.

The Russian assault may have been a rogue operation, underscoring the complexity of a conflict that started as a domestic crackdown only to morph into a proxy war involving Islamic extremists, stateless Kurds and regional powers Iran, Turkey and now Israel. Russia’s military said it had nothing to do with the attack and the U.S. accepted the claim. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called the whole thing “perplexing,” but provided no further details.

The Russian military has intervened in the Syrian civil war on behalf of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in recent years, trying to prop up the brutal tyrant’s regime. Meanwhile, the United States has backed Syrian rebels and Kurdish forces, with a focus on destroying ISIS.

Despite their military presence in the region and the ethnicity of the fighters, Russia denied involvement in the attack, but “it’s not clear who was paying” the mercenaries, the report said:

It’s not clear who was paying the Russian contingent, whether it was Russia directly, Syria, Iran or a third party. Reports in Russian media have said Wagner — a shadowy organization known as Russia’s answer to Blackwater, now called Academi — was hired by Assad or his allies to guard Syrian energy assets in exchange for oil concessions.

President Trump spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. The official White House readout of the conversation did not include any mention of the confrontation, but the contentious topic almost assuredly came up:

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