US strikes said to kill scores of Russian fighters in Syria

Reports: Russian Military Contractors Killed in US-Led Attack in Syria

These claims can not be verified.

Worldwide press keeps digging up additional details of the February 7 clash between the US and its allies in Syria's Deir el-Zour region and what has reportedly turned out to be a group of private military contractors, most of whom were reportedly Russian nationals, but also included some Ukrainian nationals. Yet there are hundreds if not thousands of contract soldiers in Syria whom the Russian government has never acknowledged.

The associates named the dead as Vladimir Loginov, a Cossack from Russia's western Kaliningrad region, and Kirill Ananyev, a radical nationalist from Moscow.

In footage released by the Department of Defense on Tuesday, the T-72 can be seen sitting stationary and appears to fire a round from its 125mm main gun just before being hit by the US air strike that destroyed the vehicle.

A USA jet operating in Syria destroyed a Russian-made T-72 battle tank near Al Tabiyeh, Syria, on Saturday, a Pentagon representative confirmed to Business Insider on Tuesday.

The U.S. Defense Department said the air strikes, which included fighter and ground-attack aircraft and Marine artillery, were launched after as many as 500 attackers waged a coordinated assault on a base housing Syrian opposition forces, along with U.S. military advisers in Deir al-Zor. It was then that the Russian liaison officer contacted the SDF again, asking for a pause to collect those killed in the USA strikes, according to Hassan's account as narrated by Ignatius.

"Coalition forces shot a T-72 tank near Tebiye on Feb.10, acting for self-defense", said U.S. Colonel Ryan Dillon, adding that pro-regime forces had fired on U.S. special operation forces and SDF fighters near the same region.

What are Russia's casualties in the Syrian conflict?

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There's no "specific detailed information" on what happened and while there may be Russian citizens in Syria, "they don't belong to the Russian armed forces", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call Wednesday. He says they need to be verified.

But analysts believe Russian Federation is using so-called private security firms to avoid deaths among its conscript army which could prove unpopular with its citizens - especially in the year of its presidential election. Moscow's defense ministry issued a statement denying the involvement of any Russian service members. It says 25 Syrian volunteers were wounded in the United States strike.

Asked at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about Russian deaths, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said, "From an intelligence perspective, we have seen in multiple instances foreign forces using mercenaries in battles that will begin to approach the United States".

The Baltic Cossack District said in a statement that Loginov was a Russian citizen who was killed in an "unequal battle" while "heroically defending our Fatherland in its far reaches from insane barbarians" when he died on February 7.

"Those steps look increasingly like part of efforts to create a quasi-state on a large part of Syrian territory - from the eastern bank of the Euphrates River all the way to the border with Iraq", he said.

"I don't have any reporting that some non-Russian Federation soldiers, but Russian contractors were among the casualties", he told reporters. "I advise you to contact the defence ministry".

The U.S.is in talks with Russian Federation now in search of an explanation for what happened, said two administration officials who asked not to be identified discussing private conversations.

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