Russians injured in recent clash in Syria were not servicemen - Foreign Ministry

Feb 22, 2018, 01:05
Russians injured in recent clash in Syria were not servicemen - Foreign Ministry

The ministry reiterated that the Russian citizens involved in the recent clashes in Syria were not part of the Russian military force deployed there.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that several dozen Russian citizens and people from countries in the former Soviet Union had been killed or wounded in recent clashes in Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement earlier this month that a pro-Syrian government militia unit conducted a reconnaissance and search operation on February 7 in the vicinity of an oil refinery in the province of Deir al-Zour to identify and destroy a bandit group responsible for shelling government troop positions, and came under fire from the US -led coalition and its local allies.

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The U.S. coalition on February 7 struck a formation attacking a position of the terrorist PKK-linked Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) east of the Euphrates river in eastern Syria, killing about 100 people and destroying a Russian T-72 battle tank.

"In the course of a recent military confrontation.there were deaths [among] citizens of Russian Federation and countries of the CIS.and there were wounded - several dozens of them", the new statement said.

The statement gave no new figure for the number of Russians killed in the incident, which Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on February 15 was about five - far fewer than some reports have suggested.

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The ministry said it had helped the injured Russians return home where they were "receiving medical care in various medical institutions".

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The ministry repeated that the fighters had traveled to Syria "on their own volition and for various purposes".

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