Pentagon spokespersons declined to comment or confirm the videos.
The draft statement reviewed by POLITICO, drafted by the US Central Command, said that a Russian vehicle intentionally crashed into a coalition vehicle and four US soldiers were injured.. Russian vehicles recklessly pursued US forces, the statement said.
The United States has around 500 troops in Syria, mostly in the northeast of the country. US troops are fighting alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces to destroy the remnants of the Islamic State militant group.
The Russian and US military have operated in close proximity to Syria throughout the country’s long civil war, and commanders have maintained a line of communication to avoid hitting each other.
However, in recent months, Russian forces have increasingly encroached on US troop-controlled territory in eastern Syria, part of what officials see as a deliberate campaign to bring out the US. US Army in the region, POLITICO reported in June.
Although there have been several instances of close calls over the years, including between American and Russian planes operating in the skies over Syria, the clashes rarely turned violent. A notable exception was a bloody four-hour battle in 2018, when US commandos killed 200 to 300 pro-Syrian government forces, including Russian mercenaries from the Wagner group.
The incident comes six months after controversy surrounding more than 100 U.S. service members who were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries resulting from the January Iranian missile attack on the Ain al-Asad base in Iraq. The Pentagon did not initially disclose the number of soldiers suffering from TBI and revised the number of injured in the attack five times over the following weeks.