The United States alleged that a Russian armored car crashed into a US military vehicle, injuring US soldiers, in what the White House called “dangerous and unprofessional” when patrols from the armed forces of both countries broke out. faced in northeastern Syria.
According to the US National Security Council (NSC), the incident occurred Tuesday morning near a place it called “Dayrick”, a possible reference to Derik, near the Turkish and Iraqi borders.
“During this interaction, a Russian vehicle struck a Coalition mine-resistant and mine-protected all-terrain vehicle (M-ATV), causing injury to the crew of the vehicle,” said the carrier. word of NSC, John Ullyot.
“To defuse the situation, the Coalition patrol left the area. Unsafe and unprofessional actions like this represent a violation of the deconfliction protocols, committed by the United States and Russia in December 2019. ”
According to Politico, who first reported the incident, citing a draft military statement, four US soldiers were diagnosed with mild concussion.
National Public Radio said six US soldiers suffered a mild concussion but none had been medically evacuated.
NPR said Russian interference in US convoys has been increasing for months without any public statement from the US military.
Video of the alleged incident on Russian website RusVesna.su shows a Russian vehicle advancing along a road and open terrain along it before two American Mine Protected Vehicles (MRAPs) approach them. the other direction. A Russian and American vehicle appear to collide, although it is not clear from the video who is to blame. In another video, two Russian helicopters can be seen hovering low over the scene.
Russian troops are patrolling the area following an agreement with Turkey in November. US troops who fought alongside Kurdish forces against Islamic State were ordered to leave by Donald Trump in October, but he later said he had allowed some soldiers to stay to guard the oil facilities in the area. region. Since then, a Delaware-based company, Delta Crescent Energy, has agreed with the Kurdish authorities in the region to rehabilitate the local oil fields.
“The Coalition and the United States are not seeking escalation with national military forces, but the United States forces still retain the inherent right and obligation to defend against hostile acts,” Ullyot said in the statement.
As US troops retreated from US bases near the Turkish border, Russian troops entered and now control a US-built airstrip in the region.
Brett McGurk, former US special envoy to the anti-Isis coalition, said on Twitter: “These incidents have been going on for months. Trump has apparently never raised the issue in multiple calls with Putin. He leaves our troops to fend for themselves.
Gil Barndollar, senior researcher at the Center for Defense Priorities, said: “This incident underscores the continuing dangers facing US troops in Syria, who are armed bystanders in the midst of a civil war. Playing bumper cars with Russians in the Levant does not serve any vital national interest of the United States. As in many past incidents, America was fortunate not to lose a soldier in a totally unnecessary confrontation.
In February, a man was killed in a firefight after a US armored convoy approached a checkpoint manned by Syrian forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad. A Syrian man was killed in the incident, in which Russian forces were involved when they arrived in an apparent mediation effort.