It is reported that on February 7, in the province of Deir ez-Zor, American artillery dealt a targeted blow to the 5th detachment of the PMC Wagner, which was on the march, after which it finished off the remaining columns aviation coalitions, including helicopters and AS-130 ganship.
The sources of this information include posts in social networks and messages from several bloggers, including the leader of the January 25 Committee, Igor Girkin, as well as a transcript of a record on which two unknown people discuss the losses incurred.
Official Russian sources do not confirm this information. Acknowledging the fact of the attack of Americans on the government forces of the SAR, representatives of the Defense Ministry reported that there were no Russian military personnel at the scene of the incident.
"The militiamen were subjected to" sudden shelling from mortars and MLRS, after which helicopters of the US-led "international coalition" attacked them, the agency said. “As a result of the shelling, Syrian militiamen were injured by 25,” the Defense Ministry said.
However, the PMC officers are not servicemen, and the defense ministry representatives never reported on their losses.
Note that during the war in Syria, similar incidents have already taken place. Thus, according to a number of Iranian, Western and Russian media reports, the 20 September 2016 of the year the Caliber missile launched from a Russian ship destroyed the operational control office of Syrian terrorists, which included about 30 instructors from the US, Italy, Great Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia , Qatar and Israel.
This accurate strike was Russia's response to the bombing of US Air Force aircraft by the US Air Force in support of attacking terrorists in the province of Deir ez-Zor.
It was not only retribution, but also a warning, the designation of the "red line".
The Americans and their allies were silent then. And not only due to the fact that the destroyed bunker was located in the territory controlled by the Dzhebhat an-Nusra organization banned in the Russian Federation (cooperation with which would have to be acknowledged), but also because official recognition of these losses would have required reciprocal steps which Washington was not ready for.
There were no statements by the Russian side either - the hint was made and understood, and it was not worth it to further aggravate the situation.
Several times, American instructors operating in the Kurdish detachments of the People’s Self-Defense came under fire from the Turkish special forces and Ankara-controlled formations. It is assumed that among the Americans there were losses. But in these cases, official statements were not followed.
However, the current situation in this, which has become customary, the scheme does not fit. The American media almost immediately announced that the fighters of the Russian PMC were in the "retaliatory strike zone of the international coalition".
CBS News, citing a representative of the Pentagon, announced that the Russians were among the Syrian militia that had been hit. Moreover, according to the source, the citizens of Russia, together with the militias, did not intend to attack the Americans and the "Syrian Democratic Forces", but planned to take control of the territory of the refinery.
The channel emphasizes that in case of confirmation of the information, these are the first Russians killed by the US armed forces in Syria.
Similar messages are heard on other American resources, and suggest that it is quite clear that the task of the US military was precisely a blow to the Russian fighters. And this is not just a “warning” fire, called to mark the “frontier” and call for an end to the offensive. Those forces that were reportedly involved - MLRS, F-15s, F-22, AC-130, and Apache helicopters bluntly indicate their intention to make the enemy a real meat grinder.
At the same time, as we see, representatives of the Pentagon themselves admit that the irregular Syrian formations (and, perhaps, the Russian PMC fighters) did not threaten them or their allies, but intended to take control of the refinery.
In the light of this, what has happened seems to be quite a conscious provocation, deliberately creating a casus belli. Moreover, the fact that representatives of the military department talk about this in the media may mean that Russia is purposefully driven into a corner, seeking a response from it for the sake of "saving the face".
It may well be that the Americans are not sure that among the victims of their attack there are Russians, or even know that they are not. But they are striving to get the maximum propaganda effect from the current situation - to demonstrate to their fellow citizens their ability to resolutely repulse Moscow, and to try to undermine the position of Vladimir Putin, who is “not able to answer for the dead fighters,” before the presidential election. After all, it is in this vein that many opposition bloggers and media in Russia are covering the incident in Deir ez-Zor.
Moscow still keeps silence, choosing the most suitable place and time for "otvetka". Which, no doubt, will follow regardless of whether the Russians, or "only" the Syrians, died from American bombs and shells.
Washington is playing on a “rate hike,” and in no way can it yield to it.