Four American soldiers are suffering injuries after an encounter with Russian forces in northeast Syria this week, according to a Pentagon statement draft. This is another incident in an increasing campaign by Russian troops to push American military occupation out of Syria.
According to Politico, Russian and U.S. forces in Syria have relied on communication to avoid problematic encounters. However, Russian forces have “increasingly encroached on U.S. troop-controlled territory in eastern Syria,” and a draft statement written by U.S. Centreal Command describes Russian military vehicles “unsafely pursu[ing]” U.S. vehicles, and one intentionally ramming a U.S. vehicle. Four soldiers are reportedly exhibiting symptoms of concussion.
Video of the incident has surfaced on social media.
Another video of the encounter between US and Russian forces from August 24 in NE Syria. Those are Russian Mi-8AMTSh and Mi-35M helicopters flying just above the fracas. Presumably, the two US vehicles were trying to block the Russian patrol. 315/https://t.co/RjzbJTG2sj pic.twitter.com/I4cKI632cI
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) August 26, 2020
Task & Purpose reported back in February that incidents of Russian military vehicles in ‘skirmishes’ with US military vehicles aren’t anything new. It quotes Army Colonel Myles Caggins as saying that chasing or harassment between the military forces happens a few times a month, but that it usually doesn’t escalate.
The encounters happen a few times each month and, thus far, have been resolved without escalation.
In that situation, the incident being discussed was of Russian vehicles following American vehicles, and Russian troops getting out to harass and question the U.S. troops, in fact saying, improbably, “convey to his General that Russia strongly asks to stop chasing them.”
However, in this most recent incident, multiple soldiers are reported to suffer injuries, representing an escalation in severity.
The president has not provided any comment or response on this attack at this time.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com