Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

USA drone destroys Russian-made tank in Syria

USA drone destroys Russian-made tank in Syria

The Russian Defense Ministry, which insisted that its troops weren't involved in the incident, said 25 Syrian volunteers were wounded in the USA strike.

Russian Federation also denies having personnel in the area. Given such a reaction, chances are that the Kremlin will choose not to escalate over the incident.

What are Russia's casualties in the Syrian conflict?

"Another Russian, Kirill Ananyev, was also killed in Syria on February 7, the nationalist Other Russia organization said on its VK social networking page", AFP reported.

The U.S. Treasury named Dmitry Utkin as Wagner's leader last June as it sanctioned him for sending fighters to eastern Ukraine. Putin is widely expected to secure a fourth term in the controlled political environment, but analysts say he wants high turnout and a convincing victory to bolster his mandate as he heads into what may his last term.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a St. Petersburg businessman dubbed "Putin's chef" because his restaurants and catering businesses once hosted the Kremlin leader's dinners with foreign dignitaries, is also on the USA sanctions list.

Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a spokesperson for the US Department of Defense, said that officials believed roughly 100 people were killed in the raid, though said he couldn't speculate about their nationality, while Bloomberg reported that the number dead was closer to 200.

If those numbers hold, it could be the deadliest clash between citizens of the United States and Russian Federation since the end of the Cold War. They said the deconfliction line was still operating and Russian Federation so far hadn't protested the decision to launch the air strikes.

The death toll from the skirmish, already about five times more than Russia's official losses in Syria, is still rising, according to one mercenary commander who said by phone that dozens of his wounded men are still being treated at military hospitals in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

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He finished in fourth place after two runs, finishing one one-thousandth outside of the top contenders. The US has medaled in doubles luge four times; the last came in 2002 in Salt Lake City.

The Sochi Congress, in which all segments of the Syria people including Syrian Kurds had participated, proved that the Syrians are firmly committed to their country's unity and safety, which is clearly highlighted in the final statement of the Congress, Bogdanov clarified.

No US-led coalition or coalition-backed local forces were killed in the strike by a US MQ-9 Reaper drone, which took place near Al Tabiyeh, Syria, on Sunday.

Harrigian and other U.S. officials have declined to say which forces were responsible for last week's larger attack.

Also on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the United States was acting in a "dangerous way", undermining Syria's integrity through unilateral actions.

At no point, a USA military spokesman said, was there any chance of direct conflict between US and Russian ground forces. As Vox's Alex Ward writes, Israel responded by sending eight fighter jets back into Syria to attack the area from which the drone launched, near the city of Palmyra.

"Much about the attack and the associated casualties has been obscured in the fog of war".

The use of mercenaries, which remains illegal in Russian Federation despite some talk of regulating it, allows Russian Federation to avoid reporting casualties, according to Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague.

The Kremlin has sidestepped questions about the episode, even as it faces rare criticism at home over its failure to acknowledge the deaths of Russians in Syria.

In a surprise trip to Russia's air base in Syria in December, Putin said that Russian and government forces had "crushed" terrorists and ordered a partial withdrawal of the Russian contingent there. Some 2,000 United States forces remain on the ground in Syria, allied to the Kurdish-led SDF alliance, which holds the largest swath of territory still outside the control of the government.

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