The Russian and U.S. governments have blamed each other after Russian, and US armored vehicles in north-eastern Syria collided on Wednesday, August 26, injuring American troops.
In a video broadcast by a Russian nationalist website, Russia.su, a Russian military vehicle in a desert convoy could be seen ramming a U.S. armored car, as a Russian helicopter flew low overhead.
Recently, news of numerous incidents involving U.S. forces in north-eastern Syria has become the norm.
Almost a week ago, U.S. forces came under fire from Russia’s Syrian allies. In contrast, in February 2018, a large force of Russian mercenaries launched an assault against U.S. positions near a major oilfield.
But this latest incident is the first time there was a confrontation between the official Russian military and U.S. troops.
The U.S. government says this is part of a pattern of incidents as Russia is breaking a variety of regional co-ordination agreements as a way to harass U.S. forces.
Now the Russian government has blamed the U.S. saying the U.S. obstructed a Russian patrol.
The Russian defense ministry, in a statement said it had given the American troops prior warning that it would be patrolling in the area.
“Despite that, in violation of existing agreements, the U.S. armed forces soldiers tried to block the Russian patrol,” Russia’s defense ministry said in a statement quoted by Tass news agency.
“In response to that, the Russian military police took necessary measures to prevent an incident and to carry on fulfilling the mission they had been given.”
In a statement, the Russian Defense Ministry said Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian military’s General Staff, had a phone call with Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, to discuss the incident.
But the White House has said the Russian vehicle was at fault as it struck a U.S. mine-resistant all-terrain vehicle causing concussion to the soldiers on board.
The White House National Security Council (NSC), in its statement, said a Russian vehicle had struck a U.S. mine-resistant all-terrain vehicle, “causing injuries to the vehicle’s crew” and that four U.S. soldiers had suffered a mild concussion.
Condemning the Russian military for colliding with a U.S. vehicle, NSC spokesperson John Ullyot, quoted by Politico, said the coalition patrol had then left the area “to de-escalate the situation.”
“Unsafe and unprofessional actions like this represent a breach of de-confliction protocols, committed to by the United States and Russia in December 2019,” Mr. Ullyot said. Read here