Is Russia preparing to ATTACK US troops in Syria? Moscow warns it will target areas held by US Special Forces if the Kremlin’s soldiers are fired on ‘again’ by anti-Assad forces

 

  • Russian troops are fighting with the Syrian army to recapture city of Deir Ezzor 
  • Syrian Democratic Forces and US special forces have also moved on the city
  • Moscow says its troops have come under fire twice from American positions
  • Russia said its soldiers are prepared to return fire if they are threatened

Russia has said its troops are prepared to fire on US positions in Syria if they come under attack by American-backed soldiers ‘again’.

The Kremlin accused US forces of ‘twice’ firing on positions being occupied by the army of Bashar al-Assad, which is fighting alongside Russian special forces to recapture the city of Deir Ezzor from ISIS.

Moscow said the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are being supported by US troops on the ground, opened fire with artillery and mortars, though did not say when.

If this happens again, ‘those areas will be immediately suppressed with all military means’, Russian commander Major-General Igor Konashenkov said.

Russian commanders in Syria have warned they will fire on positions occupied by the Syrian Democratic Forces, who are being supported by the US, if they are threatened (pictured, a Russia sniper in Syria)

 Russian commanders in Syria have warned they will fire on positions occupied by the Syrian Democratic Forces, who are being supported by the US, if they are threatened (pictured, a Russia sniper in Syria)

Moscow said the SDF has 'twice' fired on positions held by the Syrian Arab Army, which it is supporting, as they fight to recapture the city of Deir Ezzor from ISIS

Moscow said the SDF has ‘twice’ fired on positions held by the Syrian Arab Army, which it is supporting, as they fight to recapture the city of Deir Ezzor from ISIS

The SDF has taken up positions on the eastern shore of the Euphrates River, while the Syrian Arab Army has been fighting its way along the western shore

 The SDF has taken up positions on the eastern shore of the Euphrates River, while the Syrian Arab Army has been fighting its way along the western shore

He added: ‘A representative of the U.S. military command was told in no uncertain terms that any attempts to open fire from areas where SDF fighters are located would be quickly shut down.’

Russia said SDF forces, which are mostly comprised of Kurdish People’s Liberation Army battalions, had split away from fighting around ISIS’s de-facto capital in Raqqa to join the battle in Deir Ezzor.

The Syrian Arab Army, controlled by Assad, is currently fighting along the western shore of the Euphrates river and has pushed into the main city.

Meanwhile the SDF has taken up positions on the opposite bank and are fighting towards the outlying town of Hussainiyah.

Tensions in the region have been rising as the two armies push toward each-other, bringing two world superpowers ever closer to direct conflict.

Both President Trump and President Putin have insisted that their only goal in Syria is to eliminate ISIS, but that has not stopped the pair butting heads.

The most serious incident took place earlier this year when Trump launched 60 cruise missiles at Shayrat Airbase, which is controlled by Assad and had Russian troops stationed there at the time.

The move was retaliation for a gas attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun which the UN has said was perpetrated by the Assad regime.

Earlier this week the Russian Defence Ministry  accused U.S. spies of initiating a jihadi offensive against government-held parts of north-west Syria.

Both Russia and the US say their sole goal in Syria is the eradication of ISIS, but this has not stopped the two superpowers from butting heads

 Both Russia and the US say their sole goal in Syria is the eradication of ISIS, but this has not stopped the two superpowers from butting heads

Major-General Igor Konashenkov, commander of Russian forces in Syria, said any further aggression by the SDF will be 'immediately suppressed with all military means'

Major-General Igor Konashenkov, commander of Russian forces in Syria, said any further aggression by the SDF will be ‘immediately suppressed with all military means’

The Syrian Arab Army (pictured) is loyal to Bashar al-Assad, while the SDF is mostly comprised of Kurdish People's Liberation Army battalions

 The Syrian Arab Army (pictured) is loyal to Bashar al-Assad, while the SDF is mostly comprised of Kurdish People’s Liberation Army battalions

The ministry said 29 Russian military policemen had been surrounded by jihadis as a result and that Russia had been forced to break them out.

‘According to our information, U.S. intelligence services initiated the offensive to halt the successful advance of government troops to the east of Deir Ezzor,’ said Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi.

The Syrian army, backed by Russian war planes, has captured about 100 km (160 miles) of the west bank of the Euphrates this month, reaching the Raqqa provincial border on Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

Syrian troops also crossed to the eastern side of the river on Monday where the SDF has been advancing.

The convergence of the rival offensives has increased tensions in Deir al-Zor.

The U.S.-backed militia said on Saturday they had come under attack from Russian jets and Syrian government forces, something Moscow denied.

On Monday, the SDF warned against any further Syrian army advances on the eastern riverbank, and Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Tuesday that the waters of the Euphrates had risen as soon as the Syrian army began crossing it, suggesting this could only have happened if upstream dams held by the U.S.-backed opposition had been opened.  (Click to Site)

 

 

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