The Russian Foreign Ministry admitted today that ‘dozens’ of Russian nationals had died in the American airstrike in Syria as a Russian mercenary-led force attacked American-backed positions near an oilfield near Deir Ezzor. The ministry had formerly admitted five Russian nationals were killed.
American command elements declared they contacted Russian authorities prior, during, and after the strike. U.S. Secretary of Defense stated on February 13th, “There is now reporting in the press…I don’t have any reporting that some Russians, non-Russian Federation soldiers, but Russian contractors, were among the casualties. I can’t give you anything on that. We have not received that word at Central Command or the Pentagon.”
“The recent military clashes, in no way involving Russian servicemen or service equipment, resulted in the deaths of citizens of Russia and the CIS [former Soviet republics], as already mentioned,” the ministry said in an online statement Tuesday, reported The Moscow Times.
“There are also several dozens wounded..They were helped in returning to Russia where, to our knowledge, they are undergoing treatment in various medical institutions.”
The ministry repeated that the fighters had traveled to Syria “on their own volition and for various purposes.”
“It’s not for the Foreign Ministry to judge the competence and legality of their decisions,” it added, wrote The Moscow Times.
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) February 20, 2018