Russians among the casualties in deadly Syria strikes by US-led forces

A week ago, USA forces carried out a massive attack in Eastern Syria, killing a large number of Syrian pro-government fighters, many of whom have since been claimed to have been military contractors from the Russian Federation. They are not connected to the armed forces of the Russian Federation, " Peskov said in a conference call with journalists.

The casualties coincided with US-led air strikes on the Syrian city of Deir al-Zor on February 7, Poland's niezalezna.pl news website said.

Some three hundred private military personnel with alleged links to the Kremlin were killed or injured in Syria last week, the Reuters news agency has said.

Russian authorities deny deploying private military contractors to Syria.

It's not clear who was paying the Russian contingent, whether it was Russia directly, Syria, Iran or a third party. When Mattis and other USA officials publicly discuss the US mission in Syria, they say only that it is to fight the Islamic State. "I have no idea why they would attack there, the forces were known to be there, obviously the Russians knew", he said.

The Russian defence ministry did not respond to Reuters questions about casualties in Syria.

Following the incident, the Russian military talked to the coalition through the established communication channels, with the latter stating that Al-Isba was under the control of SDF and USA troops. "In eastern Syria, the Russian Ministry of Defense can say, 'We don't know they were doing this.' But it's very likely this had some kind of direction from higher-ups in the Kremlin".

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"We believe that some awkward actions of our U.S. partners fueled separatist sentiments among some Kurds", Bogdanov said in his interview.

"Some state interference in the pre-election process is still being discussed, but I have not seen a single fact", Lavrov said on the Euronews TV channel, adding that he hadn't seen a single fact brought forth by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Despite numerous protests from Ankara, the US has supplied the PKK with weapons and then announced the establishment of certain "border forces" which mainly consist of Kurds to provide security on the Syria-Turkish border. On Saturday, Israel's military said it shot down an Iranian drone that took off from a base in Syria and infiltrated Israeli airspace.

"No one wants to start a world war over a volunteer or a mercenary who wasn't sent by the state and was hit by Americans", Vitaly Naumkin, a senior adviser to Russia's government on Syria, said in an interview.

He said that the US-led forces, in line with procedure agreed with the Russians, warned Russian regular forces that they were preparing to strike.

"We are not ignoring the issue of the social and economic reconstruction of Syria".

"Turns out, there've been 13 people, in the opinion of the US Justice Department".

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