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Tue Feb 13, 2018, 09:30 AM

U.S. Strikes Killed Scores of Russian Fighters in Syria, Sources Say

Source: Bloomberg News



By Stepan Kravchenko , Henry Meyer , and Margaret Talev
February 13, 2018, 5:38 AM EST Updated on February 13, 2018, 6:32 AM EST

U.S. forces killed scores of Russian contract soldiers in Syria last week in what may be the deadliest clash between citizens of the former foes since the Cold War, according to a U.S. official and three Russians familiar with the matter.

More than 200 mercenaries, mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, died in a failed attack on a base and refinery held by U.S. and U.S.-backed forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, two of the Russians said. The U.S. official put the death toll at about 100, with 200 to 300 injured.

The Russian assault may have been a rogue operation, underscoring the complexity of a conflict that started as a domestic crackdown only to morph into a proxy war involving Islamic extremists, stateless Kurds and regional powers Iran, Turkey and now Israel. Russia’s military said it had nothing to do with the attack and the U.S. military accepted the claim. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called the whole thing “perplexing,” but provided no further details.

“Coalition officials were in regular communication with Russian counterparts before, during and after the thwarted, unprovoked attack,” U.S. Colonel Thomas F. Veale, a military spokesman, said in a statement. “Russian officials assured coalition officials they would not engage coalition forces in the vicinity.”

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-13/u-s-strikes-said-to-kill-scores-of-russian-fighters-in-syria

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Reply U.S. Strikes Killed Scores of Russian Fighters in Syria, Sources Say (Original post)
DonViejo Feb 2018 OP
DFW Feb 2018 #1
CentralMass Feb 2018 #2
Upstate One Feb 2018 #3
Roy Rolling Feb 2018 #4
politicaljunkie41910 Feb 2018 #5
bronxiteforever Feb 2018 #6
mitch96 Feb 2018 #7
Cold War Spook Feb 2018 #8
Igel Feb 2018 #9

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 09:56 AM

1. Well, whaddya know, the military did something extremely smart for once

"Russia’s military said it had nothing to do with the attack and the U.S. military accepted the claim."

If we had said ANYTHING other than that, we risked getting into a very dangerous escalation of rhetoric from which there might have been no backing down later on.

By accepting the Russians' claim they had no knowledge of the action, and that the Russians involved were rogue, outside of Putin's sanction, we have told Putin, in effect, fine, we aren't going to pursue this or your forces.

Frankly, I think the Russians' claim is blatant crap, and that there was a major miscalculation by some commander in the field as to whom some of their irregulars (this was obviously no Spetznaz) were supposed to attack. Whoever the Russian commander THOUGHT he was attacking, it sure as hell wasn't U.S. forces. But as long as we are willing to say we believe Putin that he wasn't involved, then we don't have anything for which Trump might feel a need to retaliate. No Putin? Good, then no problem. They know that we know, and it's enough.

Assuming the Russian commander in the field escapes this with his job and/or his life, it's a cinch he'll be more careful who he attacks in the future.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 10:17 AM

2. They wouldn't want to upset the GOP's chief financiers and campaign consultants in Moscow.

Last edited Tue Feb 13, 2018, 11:23 AM - Edit history (1)

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 10:18 AM

3. The Olympics aren't the only area Russians are failing at

 

War too.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 10:19 AM

4. Russian Forces

Trying to capture an oil refinery in Syria, then sell the oil for profit. It's the business plan that Putin used in crumbling Russia to make him the richest man in the world. And Donald Trump's mentor in crime and oligarchy.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 10:23 AM

5. WTF?? The headline implies that the US did something wrong. These people were coming to kill them.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 10:38 AM

6. Add Syria to Iraq and Afghanistan. We are there forever.

Or Until the money runs out!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 11:53 AM

7. this stuff goes way back

During the Korean war, Russian pilots flew MIG's against our F-86 pilots.. Koreans did not have much experience and there was a gaggle of ex WW2 russian combat pilots looking for work.. Reports of dead MIG pilots with red hair tipped us off... Later on, info came out that the russian pilots were told not to fall into American hands and kill them selfs instead..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Union_in_the_Korean_War

http://acepilots.com/russian/rus_aces.html

m

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:37 PM

8. American forces killed some Russian forces in Syria.

It had to happen or the other way around. In Vietnam, Russian military manned the SAM sites so they killed American pilots and American pilots killed Russians manning the SAM sites.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 08:12 PM

9. I don't know what "Russian contract soldiers" means here.

It could mean Russian soldiers who are mercenaries, having contracted on their own with Assad. There are such. And given the way that "Russian" is now citizenship and now cultural affiliation and now ethnicity, they could be monolingual Nokhchiin-speaking Chechens.

But the Russian army is no longer conscript, but under contract. They're not "irregulars" any more than the US soldiers who sign a contract when they join are.

Then there's the weird hybrid status that, say, some of the Donbas Russian troops had. Their contracts were officially allowed to lapse but they continued to draw pay and follow orders, and in some cases upon return from their tour of duty in Donets'k their contract was reinstated.

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