The US airstrike that was held last week, in response to an unprovoked assault by pro-Al-Assad forces, allegedly killed a group of Russian military contractors. The deaths were revealed by people who knew two of the mercenaries.
As experts agreed, this is the first time the US military forces kill Russians who fight on behalf of the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad.
As of today, the deaths are not officially verified. This makes a lot of people think about the significant and dangerous consequences it could bring into the war of the Middle East.
The US strike occurred, according to the American military force, in response to hundreds of fighters pro-government who attacked the territory where the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were located. The US then attacked back on February 7, forcing al-Assad followers to retreat.
On September 30, 2015, Moscow initiated a military operation in Syria, which was meant to support President al-Assad. Unfortunately, this only led to a cascade of deaths in the Russian forces. Since that date, 45 Russian military personnel were officially confirmed killed. Furthermore, the number of private military contractors and mercenaries who have died is unknown.
This February, a Russian Sukhoi-25 was shot down in rebel-held territory, in the province of Idlib, located in the north-west of Syria. The pilot was lucky enough to survive the attack and eject himself from the aircraft. Considering he was risking being captured in a ground fight, he opted to detonate his grenade to avoid it.
The two known mercenaries who died were identified as Vladimir Loginov, a Cossack from Kaliningrad, a western region of Russia, and Kirill Ananyev, a radical nationalist Muscovite. However, the dozen of Russians who were thought dead due to misleading reports was just in great danger – as BBC News explained.
Media reports are not the primary resources
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, refused to provide details of the situation on Tuesday. He claimed they already had details of the men in service who were part of the Russian armed forces, and also were part of the Russian military operation supporting the Syrian army. He explained that they didn’t have any information about other Russians that could still be in Syria, and recommended the people contact the defense ministry.
He added that people had to understand many Russian patriots live all across the world and that this made difficult to obtain precise and detailed information about every single one of them. To complete his response to BBC News, he added:
“We recommend not treating media reports as primary sources,” Peskov said.
Source: Washington Post