Led coalition strikes may have killed 5 Russians in Syria, Moscow says

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According to reports from the Department of Defense, a Russian-made T-72 Main Battle Tank was destroyed by a drone strike after it attempted to engage Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the coalition advisors working alongside them in Syria on Saturday, one week after a large scales engagement between pro-Assad and SDF troops forces in the region. USA officials also said the Russian government had lodged no complaint about its citizens being killed.

Former Defense Minister of the Donetsk People's Republic Igor Strelkov (Girkin), referring to his "reliable source", reported that all those killed under the shelling (about 100 people) were Russians, not the Syrian military, as the Defense Ministry stated.

A U.S. fighter jet operating in Syrian airspace opened-fire on a Russian-made tank in an act of "self-defense" said the Pentagon Tuesday, signaling a further escalation of tensions in the region as the seven-year long civil war continues to engulf the country. "More than 200 is the current estimate, we can not know the exact number yet, but majority were Russian", he said in a telephone interview.

On the eve the American television channel CNN published a video of the airstrikes of the worldwide anti-terrorist coalition backed by the United States on the positions of Bashar al-Assad's forces in the Syrian region of Deir Ezzor.

No coalition or SDF casualties were reported, Dillon added.

Rankine-Galloway said no United States or Syrian rebel forces were killed or hurt in the tank attack, and the Pentagon reported only one SDF member wounded after the attack on Wednesday.

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The Russian 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.

Syria's ambassador to the United Nations said on Thursday the prime objective of the US-led military coalition is supporting terrorists operating in the Arab country.

"We in the Kremlin do not possess detailed information that would enable us to draw conclusions", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday.

Pentagon officials claim that USA special operations forces working as advisers to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) came under attack from a Soviet-made T-72 battle tank operated by pro-government forces.

When the SDF post came under fire, the USA responded, killing some 100 of the attackers-roughly 1/5 of the enemy force.

But a US official speaking to Reuters on the condition of anonymity said that two pro-government fighters were killed in Sunday's defensive strike, which targeted an armored vehicle approaching USA -backed forces in the al-Tabiyeh region of Deir Ezzor.

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CBS also notes the interesting fact that some Turkish forces were present at the SDF headquarters alongside the Americans, even as tensions between the US and Turkey are mounting near the Turkish border. It also quoted Alexander Averin, the leader of extreme leftist group Another Russia, as saying that one of its activists, Kirill Ananyev, was killed by the USA strike near Khusham. They are believed to be dead, according to Russian officials.

The incident came three days after the US-led coalition killed more than 100 forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after shelling and using tanks to fire at the SDF and coalition advisors.

"We can't offer support for peace on the one hand and ignore the fact that the chief sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East and its terrorist militia are digging in", Haley told the council, also blaming Russian Federation for failing to control the violence.

The Russians never expected that the USA forces would call in air strikes and wipe out the 300 odd attackers trying to smoke the SDF/Special Operations base.

US Defense Secretary General James Mattis has said that the US was puzzled by the attack near Deir Ezzor last week.

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