US Strikes Kill 100 Russian Fighters In Syria

Following up to last night's bombshell report  that at least two Russian mercenary fighters in Syria had been killed by US-led coalition forces, this morning Bloomberg is out with an exclusive, according to which the body count is far greater than had been disclosed: U.S. forces reportedly killed "scores" of Russian contract soldiers in Syria last week "in what may be the deadliest clash between citizens of the former foes since the Cold War", Bloomberg reported.

According to the unnamed US and Russian sources, "more than 200 mercenaries, mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, died in a failed attack on a base and refinery held by U.S. and U.S.-backed forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region" In terms of total body count, the U.S. official put the death toll at about 100, with 200 to 300 injured.

A few caveats: the Russian operation was not officially mandated, and the assault "may have been a rogue operation, underscoring the complexity of a conflict that started as a domestic crackdown only to morph into a proxy war involving Islamic extremists, stateless Kurds and regional powers Iran, Turkey and now Israel."

In a bizarre deflection of responsibility, Russia’s military not only did not demand an explanation from the US for the deaths, but said it had nothing to do with the attack and the U.S. military accepted the claim. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has called the whole thing “perplexing,” but provided no further details.

“Coalition officials were in regular communication with Russian counterparts before, during and after the thwarted, unprovoked attack,” U.S. Colonel Thomas F. Veale, a military spokesman, said in a statement. “Russian officials assured coalition officials they would not engage coalition forces in the vicinity.”

The deadly fight began about 8 kilometers (5 miles) east of the Euphrates River de-confliction line late on Feb. 7, when adversaries fired rounds and advanced in a “battalion-sized dismounted formation supported by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars,” Veale said. No fatalities were reported on the coalition side and “enemy vehicles and personnel who turned around and headed back west were not targeted.”

Shortly after the attack, al-Masdar reported that  the pro-government "ISIS Hunters" released an official statement on Sunday condemning the US Coalition’s airstrikes that killed several members of the Syrian Armed Forces on February 7th.

The ISIS Hunters specifically condemned both the US Coalition and the Kurdish forces that are currently in control of the majority of the northeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor. There was, however, no mention that many of the fighters killed were Russian mercenaries.

Echoing the sentiment, the government in Damascus called the U.S. action “barbaric aggression” and a “war crime.”

In troubling news for Putin, however, the death toll from the incident, already about five times more than Russia’s official losses since it entered the war in 2015, is still rising, according to one mercenary commander. He said by phone on condition of anonymity that dozens of his wounded men are still being treated at military hospitals in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Many of the Russians killed or injured were veterans of the Ukraine conflict, according to Alexander Ionov, the head of a Kremlin-funded organization that fosters ties to separatists who’s fought alongside pro-Assad forces in Syria. It’s not clear who was paying the soldiers of fortune, whether it was Russia directly, its allies in the war, Syria and Iran, or a third party.

Bloomberg has also identified the mercenary outfit involved in the attack. According to reports in local media, Wagner - a shadowy organization often referred to as Russia’s answer to Blackwater, the U.S. military company now called Academi - was hired by Assad or his allies to guard Syrian energy facilities in exchange for oil concessions.

There’s a refinery in Deir Ezzor that once funded Islamic State operations that’s now “crucial” to Assad’s plans to finance the reconstruction of Syria once a peace deal is finally reached, according to Yury Barmin, a Middle East analyst at the Russian International Affairs Council in Moscow.

In its statement about the attack, Russia’s Defense Ministry seemed to refer to the refinery, accusing the U.S. of using its “illegal presence” in Syria as an excuse to “seize economic assets” instead of fighting terrorists.

Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat and lawmaker who’s now an independent political analyst in Moscow, said the clash marked the first such armed exchange between the two powers since the Vietnam War.

“This is a big scandal and a reason for an acute international crisis,” Frolov said. “But Russia will pretend nothing happened.”

Indeed, and as we noted last night, if and when the deaths are officially confirmed, it could turn into a political scandal for Putin, with the public demanding why the government is keeping military deaths under wraps. Already Grigory Yavlinsky, a veteran liberal politician who is running for president in elections next month, has called on Putin to disclose how many Russians had been killed in Syria and in what circumstances.

“If there was large-scale loss of life of Russian citizens, the relevant officials, including the commander-in-chief of our armed forces (Putin), are obliged to tell the country about it and decide who carries responsibility for this,” Yavlinsky said in a statement released by his Yabloko party.

Of course, if indeed Russian fighters were killed while fighting under covert circumstances - in the same way as killed US "military advisors" are kept under seal - that is the last thing Moscow would like to publicize. Unless of course the political calculus shifts, and Putin decides that it is time for a full-blown military escalation, in which case the deaths will be used as the justification behind any armed conflict.


lester1 Tue, 02/13/2018 - 08:00 Permalink

Wtf are we even doing in that shit hole Syria?? There's nothing there we need. Let Russia pay to rebuild the place. Trump was supposed to end these wasteful/pointless wars!

Haus-Targaryen hestroy Tue, 02/13/2018 - 08:47 Permalink

Russia does nothing. 

In a military conflict between Russia and the US anywhere in the world other than Russia - the US wins hands down without much contest. 

Thus, Russia has only one strategy to play -- wait. 

It has to wait for the US to tire itself out much like the US did to the Soviets in the 80s. 

Nothing would make the powers that be happy than see Russia and NATO get into it somewhere anywhere else in the world other than Eastern Europe. 

In reply to by hestroy

Slack Jack Tue, 02/13/2018 - 15:36 Permalink

There are no ancient Jewish cities in Israel,...
but there are lots of ancient Greek cities.

What is weird is this; that 2000 years ago, it seems that there were no people even resembling Jews, in Israel.

It turns out that there is not a single ancient Jewish city in what is now called Israel. There is not a single ancient city where Hebrew characters are used on the statues and buildings. There is not a single ancient city where the buildings are in the ancient Jewish architectural style. In fact, there is not even a category of "ancient Jewish architectural style".

Of course, the Hebrew characters that are desired, are those of the Dead Sea scrolls (supposedly from 2000 years ago), which are essentially the modern Hebrew characters without points.

If you check out all the ancient cities in Israel from 2000 years ago, they are all Greek, and their ruins are still there for you to visit. Their inscriptions are in the Greek script and the buildings are in the ancient Greek architectural styles.

Here is a list of some of the known ancient Greek cities in (and near) Israel; Ecdippa, Seleucia, Ptolemais, Taricheia Arbela, Asochis, Sepphoris, Hippos, Dion, Sycaminum, Bucolon Polis, Itabyrium, Gadara, Abila, Dora, Comus, Gephrus, Crocodilion Polis, Caesarea, Straton's Tower, Narbata, Scythopolis, Pella, Samaria, Amathus, Ragaba, Gerasa, Apollonia, Sicima, Pegae, Joppa, Arimathea, Jamnia, Port of Jamnia, Lydda, Modiin, Aphaerema, Philadelphia, Birtha, Gazara, Beth Horon, Dok, Jericho, Samaga, Esbus, Medaba, Ladder of Tyre, Azotus, Port of Azotus, Accaron, Jerusalem, Ascalon, Anthedon, Gaza, Marissa, Beth Zur, Hebron, Adora, Engeddi.

The ancient Jewish cities in Israel are,....... well there aren't any. Not even one.

Here's an interesting example of a first century BC Greek inscription (i.e., in Greek letters) from Jerusalem's Temple Mount forbidding the entry of strangers to the Temple precinct.

The pictured stone was found in 1935. It was actually the second such warning-stone to be found, the first being discovered by Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau in 1871. It was deemed so dangerous to the "Jews inhabited Israel 2000 years ago" theory, that it completely disappeared for 13 years before resurfacing in Istanbul, where, it was correctly calculated, it would not attract much attention.


The first Jerusalem Temple Mount warning-stone, now found in the Archaeology Museum, Istanbul, is pictured below:

It says (in Greek): "No stranger is to enter within the balustrade round the temple and enclosure. Whoever is caught will be responsible to himself for his death, which will ensue."

Slack Jack's CHALLENGE:

Name ONE ancient city (that existed in what is now called Israel) where the building inscriptions are all in Hebrew, and the buildings are constructed in the ancient Hebrew architectural style (whatever that may be).

Then give a summary of "the ancient Hebrew architectural style" (you will have to make this up as it does not yet exist).

Then give links to photos of the ancient building inscriptions which show that they are written in Hebrew.

Then show that the buildings are constructed in the ancient Hebrew architectural style (that you have just invented).

In reply to by

Slack Jack Slack Jack Tue, 02/13/2018 - 15:37 Permalink

The Dead Sea scrolls Hoax.

The Dead Sea scrolls are a mixture of old documents that were hidden in a number of caves to be miraculously found and used to support the establishment of Israel, a country intended for Jews only.

The main document "finds" were in 1946 and 1947 in caves near the tiny ancient settlement of Qumran.

Israel was created in 1948.

The Dead Sea scrolls are the only really old (well supposedly really old) documents, in the Hebrew characters, that have ever been found. No other really old documents in the Hebrew characters have ever been found.

All other documents in Hebrew characters date from later than 800 AD.

Previous to the "finds", critics had pointed out the late date of all documents in Hebrew characters, and deduced that the Hebrew Old Testament must have been translated from the Greek Old Testament and not the other way round.

Then, low and behold,... a very timely miracle occurs.

The Dead Sea scrolls are "found" and dated to hundreds of years earlier than the oldest previously known documents in Hebrew characters.

Then, it is widely claimed that all the scrolls were produced and hidden in the Qumran caves before 70 AD (the supposed time of the mythical sack of Jerusalem by the Romans).

The critics are not given access to the scrolls nor even photographs of the text, lest they spoil the party.

In fact, for decades, only seven scholars are given access to the scrolls.

This goes on till certain critics are dead and the scrolls have been purged of all anachronisms (like Arabic numerals).

Then, in 1991, only 45 years after their "discovery", the Huntington Library, in San Marino, California, without consent, makes facsimile copies of the scrolls available to all.

So that, in brief, is the Dead Sea scrolls Hoax.

More, however, can be deduced....

One can even guess where the Dead Sea documents came from.

It turns out that some of the Dead Sea documents, for example, the "Damascus Document," are nearly identical to documents from the Genizah collection of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt. So, it is likely that many of the Dead Sea scrolls had their source there.

Worldwide, there are ten manuscripts of the "Damascus Document" from the Dead Sea scrolls and two from the Cairo Genizah. This strange distribution is a result of the fraud. The "Damascus Document" was first published in 1910 by Solomon Schechter in "Fragments of a Zadokite Work."

The Ben Ezra Synagogue was established around 900 AD.

Now, the Arabs have ruled Egypt since they defeated the Greek armies around 635 AD.

Now, the synagogue (and its Jews) existed happily, undisturbed, in Cairo, in the midst of the Islamic world.

So, maybe the original Jews were a group of Arabs.

This would explain why Hebrew and Arabic are nearly identical languages.

This would explain why the Hebrew and Islamic religious traditions are very similar.

And, it would also explain why Jews turned up in Spain with the Arabs (Moors).

Another couple of points:

It should also be noted that a few Jewish scholars (in particular, Solomon Zeitlin) have long insisted that the Dead Sea scrolls were a Medieval production. [Zeitlin was a well-known Talmudic scholar and would not claim this unless convinced it was true.]

Internal evidence from the scrolls themselves indicates a Medieval production. See, here.

And, the fact that many scrolls are written on vellum (90% of them) proves these are indeed a Medieval production.

It is estimated that 20 people occupied the site of Qumran (estimated by the number of inhabitants for whom there was room in the buildings). Now these 20 people were not just ordinary people, they read and wrote Greek, Phoenician, Aramaic, Nabataean, and Hebrew documents, like natives, and managed to write learned works on numerous religious topics (about 900 manuscripts were "recovered"; about six hundred separate works), while gathering enough water, and raising enough food, for their survival, in a desert.

Some have tried to claim that as many as 200 lived at Qumran, but most have considered that number ridiculously high.

Anyway, I think it is clear that the Dead Sea scrolls are a bunch of old documents that have been thrown together and sold to a gullible world.

In reply to by Slack Jack

Normally Aspirated Cry Baby Moe Tue, 02/13/2018 - 15:16 Permalink

I doubt any of this article is even true!

This is pure propaganda to get Russians pissed off with Putin concerning the upcoming election.


If it WAS true and those lost were sanctioned by the Russian Govt. There would already have been reprisals.


So, it is more than likely more bullshit from the Western media with more "unnamed sources" and other ex ministers on the Western payroll

In reply to by Cry Baby Moe

Herd Redirecti… Laowei Gweilo Tue, 02/13/2018 - 11:54 Permalink

Great reference.

These fighters could have been fighting on the 'Ukrainean' side of the Ukraine conflict.  They could have been Chechen mercs.  Or even (((Russians))).    The goal could have been to give the 'new ISIS' a 'Russian' flavor.   Make Russia look like aggressors.  Draw them into a conflict.

Basically, I am saying Russia might be telling the truth!  That they had nothing to do with it!

In reply to by Laowei Gweilo

thisandthat Herd Redirecti… Tue, 02/13/2018 - 13:40 Permalink

Russia said, early on, before there was even any mention of Russians involved, pretty much that it was a "rogue" operation, so, essentially, that those involved acted on their own and without vetting (so, support), at least for this operation. Heck, for all we know, they may/might have even disapproved it, whether for tactical or strategic reasons...

And the fact there may be Russians doesn't mean they're there by/for their gov, just as any one else there and in any other conflict (see the mujahedeen, taliban, Donbass, Yugoslavia, you name it...); there's always the Rambos, who are there on their own, whether for ideological, economical or any other reasons.

So, in the end, and (un)ironically, by trying to drag the Kremlin into this, Bloomberg may well be shooting the US in the feet, because it may just end up pushing Syria/Russia into declaring that it's now time to move to the next phase and to start retaking control of the rest of the territory (meaning, east of the Euphrates)...

In reply to by Herd Redirecti…

GUS100CORRINA BaBaBouy Tue, 02/13/2018 - 13:44 Permalink


Was the RUSSIAN plane crash an accident? NOT!!!! THINK URANIUM ONE AND THE PUTIN CONNECTION!!!

The real tragedy is that 69 innocent souls died because they (deep state, USA IC, etc.) were after two people!! SICK!!!!!!

=== Latest INTEL on one of the targets ====

Vyacheslav Pershukov has been appointed ROSATOM's special representative for international scientific and technical projects 
"Former Deputy Director General of ROSATOM Vyacheslav Pershukov has been appointed ROSATOM's special representative for international scientific and technical projects.
His responsibilities will include: Russia's representation at the international thermonuclear experimental reactor ITER; the creation of a centre for the study of ions and antiprotons in Europe; and the organisation of an international research centre for Russia's multipurpose sodium-cooled fast neutron research reactor, or MBIR by its Russian acronym.
He will also head the Rosatom Technology Development Centre, which is being created at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI)."

In reply to by BaBaBouy

BobEore Conscious Reviver Tue, 02/13/2018 - 11:37 Permalink

I gather you don't like 'anonymity?' You would prefer, of course, the menu placed in front of you..

of news feed terminals, message boards safely on the other side of the sea from where the stories take place,

a 'well-documented' you tube video of the whole thing going down from start to finish? That's how fake news works - isn't it? Fake news. Jaundiced views.

Anonymity is now the ONLY THING that grants the reporter a chance to 'report' - and survive doing it. But I don't think you would understand that. Or want to - if you could. Tell me, if I'm wrong!

Tell me that what I wrote to another commentator here today -

  • Any & EVERY 'journalist' who wrote under their own 'real name'... gets snagged... and either - eliminated... or turned. In the case of those we see now trotted out to 'expertly' analyse geopolitical events - it is the latter - of which "elijah" is a sad example... Pepito another, Thierry Meyssan.. I could go on. Here in my neck of the woods... it is the latter - ALL real journos are - dead... in prison... in exile. Therefore
  • my decision, long time back... to become invisible, anonymous, a nobody reporting from nowhere, has left me the sole independent witness to the affairs ongoing here. The hacks, fifth columnists, sockpuppets and suckup of the kabbalist medias would love to change that - to my err... negative consequence. There is no middle ground no more. Choose your friends - and your sources wisely as serpents... companero!

is 'wrong.  Oh... you might read the message right on this sites home page too - about 'anonymity.'

And then we'll know for sure... who stands where.

TRUTH IN MEDIA  kids... is comin right at you... and you will not

turn it back - THIS TIME

In reply to by Conscious Reviver

MoralsAreEssential Shillinlikeavillan Tue, 02/13/2018 - 13:30 Permalink

Funny you should bring up "the next Russian president."  Only the satanic psychopaths on all sides want WWIII  If Putin was a one and had not had the upper levels of the KGB who were Russian nationalists, he would not be a successful president today.  The "funny" part is that 2 opposition people, one a woman of wealth running for office against Putin and on NPR (yes, the US National Propaganda Radio) yesterday and then the guy mentioned in this article both talking about fatalities due to military conflict.  I think not coincidental.  Weakening Putin's peace resolve is a definite goal of psychopaths everywhere.   

In reply to by Shillinlikeavillan

east of eden Shillinlikeavillan Tue, 02/13/2018 - 17:08 Permalink

Putin apparently has 'just the right amount of KGB, in him'. And you fucking bastards have been wailing about it for 20 fucking years now.

So. Go ahead. Put your worthless fucking military crap up against the Russians, and see how it turns out.

I can predict the result for you. You will be defeated on the battlefield and you will probably be invaded, or, better still, neutralized with Satan missiles.

At least you better hope that is the outcome, because if Russia or China or Iran or Iraq or Mexico or Vietnam or just about any country you care to name in the world decides to put their troops on your soil, you are going to be oh so very sorry.

Go for it, fuckwad.

In reply to by Shillinlikeavillan