… from Sputnik News, Moscow
[ Editor’s Note: Russia had been quiet about the Private Military Contractor (PMCs) dead and wounded, much for the same reason as everybody else — they are not officially part of the Russian command, or sort of.
But the bottom line on it all is who is paying for them? And of course, that is something no one discloses, but they don’t have to, because almost everybody already knows.
But not being able to control these contractors posting videos of their work or even social media comments killed any real chance of secrecy. And that works both ways. We busted the White Helmet terrorists and their backers due to their sloppy controls over who was allowed to post media for them.
We made one of our first big scores when we picked up one of these idiots with a long string of run-of-the-mill “saving people” propaganda videos, where he was also at the ISIS beheading execution of a 12-year-old boy as a spy.
But that does not change the fact that the US knows these people are embedded in SAA forces, but because they are not “Russian forces”, it is OK to kill them. But it does not work the other way around. If US contractors were killed, then they become unnamed US forces, and there is retaliation.
While many think the US only has uniformed people in Syria, they need to wake up. US PMCs are there, as they are wherever US forces generally are, as they put more boots on the ground without having to publicly account for them.
As Gordon does so love to say, welcome to how the world really works … Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … February 15, 2018 –
The Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the death of five Russian nationals in the US-led coalition’s strike in Syria, but their citizenship has yet to be verified.
“According to preliminary data, as a result of the armed conflict, the reasons for which are now being clarified, five people, presumably Russian citizens, could have been killed. There are also injured people, but all this requires verification — in particular, first of all, their citizenship — whether they are all citizens of Russia or other countries. I would like to stress once again that we are not talking about Russian servicemen,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing.
According to Zakharova, reports of hundreds of Russian citizens killed in the airstrike are “disinformation” by anti-government forces.
“Claims about the deaths of dozens and hundreds of Russian citizens are classic misinformation. There are not 400, not 200, not 100 and not ten [of them killed as a result of the US-led coalition’s airstrike],” she emphasized.
“Among the first to spread this information within their channels were Syrian anti-government militants, who for some reason took a photo of the surface of Mars, put on it an image of destroyed military equipment, perhaps even Ukrainian, dated June 2014.”
The spokeswoman emphasized that there were many people of different nationalities in Syria’s conflict zones.
“There is a large number of citizens from all regions of the world, including Russia and CIS countries, in the conflict zones. The purposes for their stay in war zones are different, including participation in hostilities,” Zakharova said, noting that it was hard to trace all of them.
US-Led Coalition’s Airstrike on Pro-Damascus Forces
Last week, US Central Command announced that the coalition conducted what it described as “defensive airstrikes” against pro-government forces near the Euphrates River as a response to an alleged attack against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) headquarters. The airstrikes have reportedly resulted in the death of at least 100 pro-government troops.
Damascus has slammed the attack as “a new act of aggression that constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity,” while the Russian Defense Ministry said that the attack showcased that the real goal behind Washington’s “illegal military presence in Syria” was control over the country’s economic assets rather than defeating Daesh.
Later, media reports emerged, alleging that a large number of Russian “mercenaries” had been killed in airstrikes. So far, the death of one Russian citizen Kiril Ananyev from an activist group “Another Russia” has been reported by the organization’s coordinator.
When asked to comment on the reports, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saidWednesday that he didn’t rule out that Russian nationals, who do not belong to the Russian Armed Forces, could be in Syria.
Earlier in the day, he emphasized that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not make any decisions to classify any information regarding Russian nationals in Syria.