Outgoing CIA director acknowledges US killed ‘couple of hundred’ Russians in Syria

 

At a press conference held soon after the armed clash, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis refused to discuss the matter, which he referred to as “perplexing”. Bloomberg said at the time that American officials were “in talks” with Russian counterparts “in search of an explanation for what happened”. On Thursday, however, Pompeo appeared to acknowledge that US troops killed hundreds of Russians in Deir al-Zour. The outgoing CIA director was speaking before a committee of the US Senate, during a hearing pertaining to his nomination to serve as the next US secretary of state. He was making the point that the administration of US President Donald Trump had maintained a hardline policy on Russia. After referring to the recent expulsions of 60 Russian diplomats from the US, Pompeo said: “in Syria, now, a handful of weeks ago the Russians met their match. A couple of hundred Russians were killed”.

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Russia, Iran prepare multi-level response for US-led precision strike on Syria

 

Moscow acted swiftly to boost its ties with Tehran and beef up the Syrian military in reaction to the US-British-French surgical missile strike on Syria’s chemical sites on Saturday, April 12. DEBKAfile’s analysts report that when Russian and Iranian officials warned of “consequences,” they were already on the move:

  1. Saturday morning, while cruise missiles rained down on Syrian chemical sites, a Syrian-Hizballah force, backed by Russian mercenaries, renewed their push to cross the Euphrates River and snatch from US control the east Syrian Konok gas and Al-Umar oil fields. There were initial clashes with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Army (SDF). Two days earlier, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s close adviser Ali Akbar Velyati pointed the way when he told a news conference in Damascus: East of the Euphrates is “a very important area. We hope big steps will be taken in order to liberate this area and expel the occupying Americans.
  2. While media reports abounded about Moscow’s non-reprisal for the US-led attack, Moscow was quietly getting ready to confront the US and its allies. Heavy Russian strategic Tu-95 and Tu-22M bombers were deployed Thursday to air bases in Iran, thereby cutting their flying time to Syria and Iraq by at least four hours; and Russian freighters were transiting the Bosporus Straits Friday and Saturday in full sight of intelligence surveillance, laden with new military equipment for the Syrian army. Continue reading

Russia’s topline Su-57 deployed to Syria to challenge US, Israeli air might

Sukhoi-57, Russia, US, Israel, Syria

 

Two fifth-generation Sukhoi-57 stealth fighters landed Monday, Feb. 19 at Russia’s Syrian air base, along with 4 Su-35 fighters, 4 Su-25 strike aircraft and an A-50U radar command-and-control platform. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

US F-22s intercept Russian fighter jets, fire warning flares

Two U.S. F-22 Raptors intercepted and fired warning flares at two Russian Su-25s over the tightly congested air space in Syria along the Euphrates River on Thursday, officials said. (Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Air Force)

 

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. F-22 Raptors intercepted and fired warning flares at two Russian Su-25s over the tightly congested air space in Syria along the Euphrates River on Wednesday.

The Russian fighters had crossed an agreed upon deconfliction line that runs parallel with the Euphrates River. The U.S. and its Syrian partner forces, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, operate on the eastern side of the Euphrates, and it’s a region Russia and its Syrian regime allies are supposed to steer clear from.

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Nearly 1,000 US Troops in Syria Are Currently Under Attack by Russians

 

(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed)  According to the Guardian, an estimated 900 U.S. troops are embedded with Syrian opposition forces that are currently within strike range of the Russian military. Over the weekend, the U.S. military claimed Russian jets had struck Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) positions in Deir ez-Zor east of the Euphrates River. The attack allegedly wounded six of these SDF fighters, but no American personnel were harmed. Continue reading

Russia to treat US jets in Syria as ‘targets’ after America guns down first regime warplane

A Syrian jet (similar to the one pictured on 23 March 2017) was shot down by US forces on Sunday [Getty]

 

Russia has said it will treat US warplanes operating in parts of Syria where its air forces are also present as “targets” amid a diplomatic row caused by the downing of a Syrian jet.

The country’s defence ministry said it would track US-led coalition aircraft with missile systems and military aircraft, but stopped short of saying it would shoot them down.

A hotline set up between Russia and the US to prevent mid-air collisions will also be suspended. Continue reading

Iraqi officials fear Islamic State ‘water war’

Jihadists close gates of Ramadi city dam, drying Euphrates river and cutting supplies to strategic communities

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said after the May 17 fall of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, that his men would take it back within days but operations are moving slowly.

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As they edge towards Ramadi, officials said Iraqi forces risked coming under attack because IS had closed the gates of a dam in the city to dry up the Euphrates.

The move will enable IS fighters to cross the river more easily and to infiltrate more territory. Continue reading

A new Turkish aggression against Syria: Ankara suspends pumping Euphrates’ water

What we’re seeing is another wedge being placed between the Assad regime and the public with the aim of hastening the collapse of the leadership.

The Turkish government recently cut off the flow of the Euphrates River, threatening primarily Syria but also Iraq with a major water crisis. Al-Akhbar found out that the water level in Lake Assad has dropped by about six meters, leaving millions of Syrians without drinking water.

Two weeks ago, the Turkish government once again intervened in the Syrian crisis. This time was different from anything it had attempted before and the repercussions of which may bring unprecedented catastrophes onto both Iraq and Syria.

Violating international norms, the Turkish government recently cut off the water supply of the Euphrates River completely. In fact, Ankara began to gradually reduce pumping Euphrates water about a month and half ago, then cut if off completely two weeks ago, according to information received by Al-Akhbar. Continue reading