'Dozens' of Russian nationals hurt in United States attack in eastern Syria: ministry

Russian mercenaries in Syria

Russian mercenaries in Syria

"[The United States] involved the units of the Kurdish Democratic Union party in their position to undermine Syria's territorial integrity, in fact, which led to an escalation of tensions with Turkey", Lavrov said, adding that the United States should stop "playing very risky games, which will lead to the disintegration of the Syrian state". The Pentagon has declined to comment on the exact makeup of the attacking forces and Mattis appeared at a loss to explain the incident 10 days later. I can't give you anything on that. "But they took direction from someone".

"Was it local direction? Don't ask me. I don't know". Moscow dismissed those reports last week as "classic disinformation".

At the time of the attack on 7 February, the Russian defence ministry insisted it had no servicemen in the eastern province of Syria.

The Russian top diplomat urged Washington not to "play with fire" in Syria and carefully consider its steps based "not on immediate needs of today's political situation, but rather from the long-term interests of the Syrian people and all the peoples of this region, including the Kurds".

German journalist released in Turkey
The six sentenced journalists are Nazli Ilicak, Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Fevzi Yazici, Yakup Simsek and Sukru Tugrul Ozsengul. The defendants were charged with attempts against Turkey's constitution and membership in a terror organization.

According to Lavrov, Moscow fears that by its actions in Syria, the United States is trying to dismember the country. The United States and Russian Federation have agreed to "de-conflict" the area by having each of its forces stay on separate sides of the Euphrates River. But the presence of the Russian contractors adds an element of unpredictability. The US military has released a statement saying that the airstrike was a self-defense strategy following a non-provoked attack by more than 500 pro-government fighters.

"But I doubt that 257 people all just decided on their individual own selves to suddenly cross the river into enemy territory and start shelling a location and maneuvering tanks against it".

"So, whatever happened, we'll try to figure it out".

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that five Russians who were not military personnel may have been killed in a clash with USA -led forces in Syria.

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