Russia admits dozens of Russian casualties in Syria battle
February 20, 2018 4:14 pm
Russia’s foreign ministry has confirmed that “several dozen” Russian citizens – not regular soldiers – were killed or wounded in a recent battle in Syria.
The statement did not give a date. Previously the Russian government said “probably five” Russians had died in a clash in Deir al-Zour province.
Some reports have said more than 100 Russian mercenaries were killed in US air strikes on 7 February.
Russia does not divulge firm details of “volunteer” fighters in the conflict.
What does Russia say?
The latest Russian statement said no Russian regular forces had been involved in a “recent armed clash”.
The foreign ministry spoke of “several dozen” citizens from Russia and other ex-Soviet republics, who have been killed or wounded. It said the injured are undergoing medical treatment at a number of hospitals.
“It has been pointed out that certain Russian citizens in Syria have arrived there of their own free will and for different reasons. The foreign ministry does not have the authority to assess the validity and legality of their decisions,” it added.