U.S. Service Members Injured In Syria After Altercation With Russian Forces
Politico reported Wednesday that “U.S. service members were injured after an altercation with Russian forces in northeast Syria this week, according to a draft military statement and a person familiar with the matter.”
- Per the report, four troops were “diagnosed with mild concussion-like symptoms after the incident,” and a “second U.S. source briefed on the matter confirmed that multiple U.S. troops were injured.”
Videos of the encounter that emerged on Twitter on Wednesday appeared to show a Russian vehicle ramming an American vehicle, and a Russian helicopter flying low over U.S. forces.
Pentagon spokespeople declined to comment or confirm the videos.
- The draft statement, reportedly “written by U.S. Central Command, said a Russian vehicle intentionally rammed a coalition vehicle, and that four U.S. troops were injured. The Russian vehicles unsafely pursued U.S. forces, according to the statement.”
- Politico noted that roughly 500 U.S. troops remain in Syria, largely in the northeastern portion of the country.
The Russian and U.S. militaries have operated in close proximity in Syria throughout the country’s long-running civil war, and commanders have maintained a communication line to avoid hitting each other.
However, in recent months Russian forces have increasingly encroached on U.S. troop-controlled territory in eastern Syria, part of what officials say is a deliberate campaign to squeeze the U.S. military out of the region, POLITICO reported in June.