Speaking to Russian reporters, US Ambassador James Jeffrey, the special representative for the Syrian War, was asked to comment on incidents in which US troops killed large numbers of Russian military contractors working for the Syrian government.
Jeffrey refused to offer details of that incident, but revealed that US and Russian forces have gotten into around a dozen clashes inside Syria over the course of the war, sometimes with direct exchanges of gunfire.
Jeffrey further insisted that all the US troops in Syria are “legitimately” there to fight against ISIS, and that all the fighting against Russia was in keeping with the US “right of self-defense.” Russia has not commented on the engagements.
Perhaps the most curious aspect of all of this is that, other than the incident in which the US killed all of the Russian contractors, these direct confrontations have largely gone unreported. Jeffrey refused to provide details, but it seems like major fighting between US and Russian troops on the ground would not go unnoticed in the press.
11 thoughts on “US Envoy: US, Russian Forces Have Clashed a Dozen Times in Syria”
Murky with all those Russian PMC’s on the ground. It’s doubtful the Syrian government has much to say about their operations. The legal framework of their presence is as imaginative as the American footprint. But as for general accountability there could be said to be a big difference. That is why Jeffrey talks about “legitimacy”, but while he has a point the irony seems lost on him.
Assad has said the Americans aren’t welcomed. I haven’t heard him say that about Russia.
You are right about that but I had more in mind the lack of oversight and accountability especially in terms of Russian legalization. Private armies and their operations do not represent the same power structure of accountability as the regular military. At least not in Russia. What Assad thinks about it seems less relevant in a situation where he has zero power and well, as for “legitimacy”, that remains up to the Syrians themselves.
The United States says they are legitimately fighting ISIS But the United States supplied arms to the none existent moderate rebels , Al Qaida , Al Nusra and other Sunni terrorist head choppers . Which were more aligned with ISIS than the Syrian government . The United States has been lying all the time their goal has been to destroy Syria like they did Libya and Iraq . Trump campaigne promised to go home and try to be a friendly country to every body including Russia . Trump can’t do this because Muellar’s Russian collusion investigation . would allow the democrats and RINO republicans to impeach him .
I don’t recall any friendly overtones towards Iran during his campaign.
Plenty to Israel
Who have apparently refined their interest in Syria
No, trump is not going to be impeached, not for collusion, he knows it. He continues in Syria because he wants to continue in Syria. Although his “secret plan” to destroy ISIS in 30 days, from his campaign, has not been revealed, for some reason.
How many reporters are there, especially ones not embedded with either side? Not many I expect if any, so lots can happen without us knowing. Both Russia and the US can concoct plausible deniability that they are knowingly attacking each other, but it’s a very dangerous game.
It sounds like it’s mostly the US that has intentionally killed Russians and just counted on them to take the losses and not escalate. Since the US and its allies are siding with jihadists against a long-established government, it’s a pretty untenable bet. How long will the Russians say “no thanks” to WWIII?
What’s been left out of all of this is the fact that US Special Forces tried attacking their Russian counterparts and got their asses kicked quite hard (the USPF were killed instead).
Of course, US Ambassador James Jeffrey wouldn’t admit such an incident actually happened, but it did. The question is, were these Special Forces authorized to attack their Russian counterparts, or did they do it on their own, just to be “heroes”? I lean to the latter.
If a Russian PMC is in Syria, it’s there with the blessing of both Syria and of Russia. But you can’t refer to them as “Russian forces”, as they aren’t part of the Russian military per se, even if they are being coordinated with existing Russian and Syrian forces. It’s like the PMCs in Iraq. They have to coordinate with US forces in Iraq, but otherwise they’re on specific missions authorized by whoever is paying them (e.g., the State Department for staff protection missions, or whoever.) Most of the Russian PMCs are probably simply advisers to the various Syrian militias that support the Syrian government.
If a US supported Kurdish force fires on a Russian supported Syrian militia, that’s not “US vs Russia” per se. It’s Kurds vs Syrians. It contributes to the US meddling in the civil war but it’s not an escalation against Russia like, say, the US military units in Syria directly attacking Russia military units, or US planes shooting down Russian planes.
That’s why you never hear about it from Russia. Russian PMCs are on their own as far as official Russian responses to casualties among them. The same is true with US PMCs in Iraq or Afghanistan. Bottom line: no one cares if a mercenary gets whacked.
If we believe him, it did go unreported in the press.
Then again, propaganda agents like the White Helmets are reported as anything but what they really are. Hiding the ball and departure from reality is the one constant we do know of in the Syria fighting.
One day, as with the Vietnam War, what happened will come to light long after anyone cares, and it would shock if anyone cared.
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