US Forces Have Reportedly Killed Dozens Of Contract Russian Fighters In Syria

Syrian pro-government forces patrol in the eastern city of Deir el Zour in November

Syrian pro-government forces patrol in the eastern city of Deir el Zour in November

As details continue to emerge of last week's USA attacks on pro-Syrian forces, it appears that dozens, or by some accounts scores, of the slain were actually Russian military contractors working for the Syrian government.

"Let's be frank: There are rather large numbers of our Russian countrymen in many countries of the world, and it is very hard in this case to possess detailed information", Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Tuesday in response to a question about the Russian deaths.

A force supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attacked a base last week in Syria held by a US -backed coalition, prompting a lethal response that the Pentagon said killed around 100 of the attackers and injured 200-300 more.

In that incident, US special operations forces and allied Syrian fighters came under attack by a group of 500 Assad regime-backed fighters equipped with tanks, artillery and mortars. Bloomberg reports, along with confirmations from the United States military, that U.S. troops engaged and killed around 100 Russian soldiers, injuring 200 to 300 hundred.

United States troops killed dozens of Russian mercenaries in Syria in the deadliest clash between the former Cold War foes in decades, according to sources in three different countries.

Putin, with Iran's help, turned the tide of the seven-year war by committing air- and manpower to buoy Assad's beleaguered forces in 2015, quieting US calls for the Syrian leader's immediate removal. We can only operate data on the servicemen of Russian Armed Forces, who take part in the operation of the Russian Airspace forces supporting the Syrian Army. Strelkov wrote on his Vkontakte page on February 10 about "several hundred" killed and injured Russian mercenaries.

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Mattis, speaking to reporters Tuesday while traveling in Europe, was adamant he knew of no Russian contractors killed in the fighting, which he attributed to a surprising assault in light of obvious us advantages, including overwhelming air power.

On Jan. 30 participants at the Congress agreed to set up a committee to rewrite the Syrian constitution in Geneva and to hold democratic elections in Syria.

Putin has emphasized that no uniformed Russian soldiers were killed in the strike.

"It's not as sort out exactly who everyone is down there, and we need to allow that to work its way through", Harrigian said.

"If Russians are among those who were killed, this would mark the first time a USA air strike has killed Russians in Syria", CBS News' David Martin reported.

The deadly raids were the biggest direct clash between USA and Russian forces since the end of the Cold War. The reports coincide with the release of the names on Twitter of six Russian men killed in Syria last week.

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They are believed to have been employed by a private Russian company called Wagner.

According to Business Insider, US officials confirmed the incident this week, saying the Air Force jet destroyed a Russian T-72 tank near Al Tabiyeh, Syria; killing three crew members.

No coalition or SDF casualties were reported, Dillon added.

But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other US officials said they had no such information on casualties, and the Kremlin did not confirm any Russian deaths.

The U.S. Treasury named Dmitry Utkin as Wagner's leader last June as it sanctioned him for sending fighters to eastern Ukraine.

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