At the height of the multi-frog war in Syria, the scenario where American troops would injure or even kill Russian mercenaries is something many in the defense industry and military commentators feared the most. On Tuesday, news reporters from the Kremlin said that some Russian nationals who were serving in the Syrian conflict as mercenaries had been killed when American backed Kurdish fighters in collaboration with the Syrian Defense forces retaliated an unprovoked attack from pro-government forces loyal to President Bashar-al-Assad.
However, the Secretary to the US Department of Defense, James Mattis denied having any knowledge of Russian fighters who were killed last week during the counter-attacks by American-led coalition forces. Moreover, there have been no confirmations from Moscow that there have been any deaths of Russian nationals as a result of the attack in Syria. Officials from the Trump administration said that the Russian government had not given any official statement to the US government that their citizens were injured as a result. However, the dynamic nature of the field of battle cannot be disputed by either side where troops from countries with conflicting interests often bump into each other increasing the chances of the escalation of an all-out war with each other.
Such occurrences that may happen whether by intention or accident may plunge both the United States and the Russian Federation into situations that they tried to avoid at all cost even during the darkest hours of the cold war. The government of Russia is giving support to troops loyal to the Syrian government led by President Bashar-al-Assad in fighting the opposition since 2011 some of which are blocked by the US government.
However, both sides are combatting what is remaining of the Islamist militias who had taken a foothold in the oil-rich country. It is also critical to note that senior military officials from Washington and Moscow maintain daily contact to avoid instances where both countries would have direct combat whether intentionally or by accident. What cannot be contested, is the magnitude of the counter0-attacks that happened on February 7 in response to the pro-government fighter’s aggression.
The Pentagon said that the US and her allies must protect themselves in the event that their security and safety are compromised. The Pentagon said the pro-government troops in excess of 500, armed with heavy artillery and mortars launched an unprovoked offensive against the American backed SDF and Kurdish fighters. The Americans responded with a series of aerial offensives which resulted in over 100 casualties.