Dubious Claims About Russian Nationals Killed in Deir Ezzor, Syria
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Last week, US-led terror-bombing massacred around 100 Syrian and allied forces in Deir Ezzor province.
A CENTCOM statement lied, claiming Syrian and allied forces conducted "an unprovoked attack against (so-called) Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) headquarters," adding:
"The Coalition remains committed to focusing on the defeat-Daesh mission in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and asserts its non-negotiable right to act in self-defense."
On Sunday, the Syrian Arab Army said US-led warplanes terror-bombed its troops in Deir Ezzor after they repelled an attack by so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - comprised of Kurdish YPG fighters and Arab terrorists, including ISIS.
On Wednesday, Russia's Foreign Ministry said "(r)eports of hundreds (or) dozens of (Russian) fatalities in Syria disseminated by some Western media outlets are classic misinformation," using "anonymous sources."
Russia's UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia denied Russian nationals were killed in Deir Ezzor, saying none were with Syrian forces when US-led warplanes attacked them.
Around 20 to 30 Arab al-Bakara tribe fighters were the main casualties, confirmed by a statement the group issued.
Western media claimed Russians were killed, some reports saying 100 or more.
On Tuesday, the NYT headlined "Dozens of Russians Are Believed Killed in US-Backed Syria Attack," saying:
They "were killed in fighting between pro-government forces in eastern Syria and members of the United States-led coalition fighting the Islamic State, according to Russian and Syrian officials."
False, as explained above! Times disinformation continued, saying "Syrian government troops and some Russian nationals appear to have attacked a coalition position, near Al Tabiyeh, Syria" in Deir Ezzor province.
Syrian and allied forces were attacked by US-led warplanes for repelling an attack on them, as explained above. They acted in self-defense.
The neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post reported "Russian military contractors" killed in the attack - falsely claiming US-led warplanes "counterattack(ed) after an unprovoked assault by pro-government forces on a base where US troops were operating in support of local partner units."
Neither the Kremlin, Trump administration or Pentagon suggested Russian national casualties from the Deir Ezzor incident.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov issued a statement, saying:
"We urge not to use media reports as a primary source in that case. Let's understand that there are a lot of our compatriots in many countries worldwide, and it's quite difficult to have detailed information. All the media reports, though, need to be verified."
"We recommend in that case to reach out to the Defense Ministry, since here we're dealing with information published in media."
"We can only operate data on the servicemen of Russian Armed Forces, who take part in the operation of the Russian Airspace forces supporting the Syrian Army. We don't have information on any other Russians who might be in Syria."
Defense Secretary Mattis said he has no information about "Russian contractors" killed in Syria.
Russia's Defense Ministry said Syrian forces were attacked by US-led warplanes while conducting a reconnaissance operation.
As explained above, Syrian Arab Army troops were terror-bombed after they repelled an attack by Kurdish YPG fighters and US-supported terrorists.
On Monday, Putin and Trump spoke by phone - reportedly about Israel/Palestine ahead of Russia's president meeting with Abbas. It's unclear if Syria was discussed.
Separately on Tuesday, Sergey Lavrov warned about Washington aiming to create a "quasi-state on a large part of the Syrian territory on the eastern bank of the Euphrates and up to the Iraqi border, (an attempt) to undermine the territorial integrity of Syria," adding:
It appears "that the United States wants to stay (in Syria) for a long time, if not forever" - preventing conflict resolution.
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