- More than 100 Russian mercenaries reportedly died when trying to attack a US-backed Kurdish position after US crew called in airstrikes.
- The enemy were creatively labeled as “pro-Assad” fighters, but Bloomberg reports that they may have been Russian mercenaries operative for the murky private military company famous as Wagner.
- Russian mercenaries have been reported in Syria before. Their deaths are not listed as casualties by the Russian government, definition the loyal cost of Russia’s impasse could be aloft than the central count.
Bloomberg has reported that last week’s attack on US-backed Kurdish fighters by forces aligned with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was actually conducted by Russian mercenaries, and that at slightest 100 of them died in the unsuccessful attack.
The Feb 7 attack happened just 5 miles easterly of the “de-confliction” line between the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Russian-supported Syrian supervision in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region.
Some 500 “pro-Assad” fighters attempted to attack an SDF headquarters, but were detered by American artillery and airstrikes that were called in by US advisers on the ground. Russian nationals were suspected of being partial of the attack, but no casualties were reported, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis pronounced he did not consider there were any Russian casualties.
Bloomberg, however, reported that 3 Russian sources told them the attack was conducted by Russian mercenaries, and that as many as 200 Russian “contract soldiers” died in the attack.
Russia has denied that any of its forces were killed or bleeding in the attack, but justification that Russians had died have solemnly begun to surface on Russian social media.
It is misleading who was profitable the mercenaries concerned in last week’s attack, or what organisation they were a partial of, but reports of a Russian private military company (PMC) by the name of Wagner have flush via the last few years.
Reports of Wagner mercenaries in Syria
This occurrence is not the first time Russian mercenaries have been reported to be handling in Syria. Stratfor, an American geopolitical comprehension firm, recently reported that Wagner mercenaries had served in Ukraine, Syria, and tools of Africa.
Last September, two Wagner operators were reportedly taken restrained by the militant organisation ISIS in Syria’s Deir Ezzor region, and in Aug 2016, Sky News interviewed Russian men who claimed to be mercenaries who fought at the Battle of Palmyra.
The eccentric Russian media opening Fontankapublished an review from 2016 that claimed that as many as 2,500 men from Wagner were handling in Syria. They reported that they had a training bottom in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai region, and that many of the men in the organisation had fought in Ukraine’s Donbas fight on the side of the separatists.
Just last week, Igor Girkin, the former invulnerability apportion for the self-declared Donetsk Peoples Republic, a separatist segment corroborated by Russia in eastern Ukraine, pronounced Russian mercenaries handling in Syria who died in fight were cremated on sight, so as to censor the loyal cost of Russia’s involvement.
“‘No body, no rapist case’ — this Russian inquisitive element is being creatively used in the military campaign,” Girkin pronounced on the Russian social media website VKontakte. “It is probable to dispose of a substantial series of bodies but anyone noticing. What can we say? There has never been such cynicism in the country.”
Russian mercenaries are reportedly being used for two purposes: to grasp objectives that the feeble lerned and versed Syrian Arab Army are not able of achieving alone, and to censor the loyal cost of Russia’s impasse in Syria.
The tactic is not unheard of. The US employed mercenaries during its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their deaths were not reported in central counts. The US continues to rest on PMCs in active warzones around the world.
If accurate, the waste sustained last week would make the series of Russian military deaths 5 times aloft than the central count — and that does not even embody prior waste sustained by Wagner.