The Pentagon has confirmed that it destroyed a pro-government tank in eastern Syria on Sunday, marking the second USA attack on Syrian forces in a week and raising concerns about a serious military confrontation in the country.
The pro-Syrian forces had attacked positions of US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces near the town of Khursham in eastern Syria.
It said the strikes, which reportedly killed about 100 of the attackers, were in self-defense.
On Wednesday, February 14, Dmitry Peskov, the Russian Presidential Press Secretary, answered journalists' question on status of Syrian fighters during a conference relating to deaths of Russians as a result of USA -backed shelling in Syria.
Ukraine believes the Wagner company was formed, equipped, and financed by Russian intelligence services for military, terrorist, and other criminal activities in support of Russian geopolitical interests.
The wounded Russian mercenaries were brought to military hospitals in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
But both Russia and America gave hazy details about the event, which, if true would rank as the biggest clash between American and Russian forces since the end of the Cold War.More news: Pummeled by scandal, Uber hit with $4.46B in losses during 2017
Russia officially said it had nothing to do with the attack and the United States accepted the claim but is still in talks with Russian officials searching for an explanation of what happened, according to Bloomberg. The U.S. official put the death toll in the fighting at about 100, with 200 to 300 injured, but was unable to say how many were Russians.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said Thursday that five Russian citizens were killed by a US strike in Syria on February 7, the first government confirmation from Moscow or Washington of Russian nationals being killed by USA military action on the complicated Syrian battlefield.
But he would not comment on whether Russian Federation has influence over the forces that did attack.
Russia's foreign minister is accusing the United States of trying to maintain control over eastern Syria.
A source in the Russian military told Kommersant that the reason for the incident was an attempt by local "big businessmen now supporting Bashar Assad" to seize oil and gas fields controlled by the Kurds, who are USA allies.
Lavrov said that he hoped that after the start of the constitutional process in Syria, the United Nations would be able to ensure its transparency and to keep all interested members of the worldwide community informed. "I think that's still the case but we don't have full clarity on what the regime forces are doing there", Mattis said over the weekend.
After having served in his current position for more than four years, "this is as violent and worrying and risky a moment as any that I have seen in my time as Special Envoy", Mr.de Mistura said.
"... We rely upon our folks who are on the ground to make that decision, primarily the ground force commander", Harrigian told reporters from the Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, during a video teleconference briefing.