Observatory: Nine Russians Among 35 Killed in ISIS Syria Attack

Some, but not all, were Russian troops

Conflicting details continue to come out of eastern Syria after the Wednesday ambush by ISIS forces against a Syrian military outpost near the Iraqi border. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is now putting the death toll at 35.

(file photo)

Among the 35, the Observatory claimed nine Russians were killed. They said some, but not all of the Russians were troops. All 26 Syrians killed were claimed to be Syrian military forces according to the statement.

This is unusual, as casualties in eastern Syria tend to center heavily on militias and mercenaries. It would be very strange indeed for the Syrian military to be the majority of casualties in any remote area, as they tend to rely heavily on paramilitary aid in those provinces.

The Russian Defense Ministry is claiming four Russian troops were killed in the incident. This would suggest that the other five Russians were mercenaries, which have been popularly used by Syria, particularly in the Deir Ezzor Province.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.