Although it has not yet been confirmed, multiple reports have indicated that the coalition advisors that were engaged by the tank along with the SDF were likely U.S. Special Operations troops, in Syria to provide training and support to American-backed forces.
Russian and US news organizations reported earlier this week that an unknown number of Russian military contractors were killed in the ferocious USA counterattack last week.
No US or SDF forces were killed in either attack, the Pentagon told Business Insider.
"As a state, we are not bound by, nor have any relation with, any committee that is not Syrian formed, led and constituted", said Ayman Soussan, assistant to the Syrian foreign minister, at a press conference in Damascus, according to Reuters. However, the dynamic nature of the field of battle can not be disputed by either side where troops from countries with conflicting interests often bump into each other increasing the chances of the escalation of an all-out war with each other.
The brash confrontation risks plunging Washington and Moscow into a battle that they studiously avoided even during some of the darkest hours of their relationship: their forces directly warring with each other.
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After all, the Russian military is involved in the Syrian War, supporting the government that hired these contractors.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, blamed Iran for the latest round of fighting and said advisers from the Islamic Republic and its ally, the Lebanese Hezbollah, planned on staying in Syria.
Wagner, which is under United States sanctions for supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine, has several hundred contractors in Syria, according to analysts.
In that incident, US special operations forces and allied Syrian fighters came under attack by a group of 500 Assad regime-backed fighters equipped with tanks, artillery and mortars.
"During the airstrike attacks of the war planes in Ma'arrat Hurma village seven civilians were killed and 10 civilians injured, mostly women and children".
"We recommend not treating media reports as primary sources", he added.
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Reports emerging from Russia indicate that anywhere from dozens to hundreds of Russian military contractors may have been killed in the U.S. air and artillery assault against a column of fighters loyal to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in eastern Deir Ezzor province on February 7.
Fifteen Russians employed in Syria by a private security company were killed when an unexplained explosion rocked an arms depot at their base in the war-torn country, a monitor said on Wednesday.
In its statement about the attack, Russia's Defense Ministry seemed to refer to the refinery, accusing the USA of using its "illegal presence" in Syria as an excuse to "seize economic assets" instead of fighting terrorists.
He pointed to Russia's work with the Syrian government and opposition on de-escalation zones and the "Syrian Congress of National Dialogue" held last month in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi where an agreement to draft a new constitution was announced. The state news agency Tass on Tuesday cited Natalya Krylova, a municipal lawmaker in the town of Asbestos in the Urals, saying local residents Igor Kosoturov and Stanislav Matveyev were killed in Syria on Feb 7. "Yet we will not be deterred from pursuing the Geneva process, which is the only sustainable path toward a political solution", De Mistura said.
One of the Russians killed was Kirill Ananyev, according to his friend Aleksandr Averin. Those claims couldn't be verified.
Among the "irregulars" fighting in Syria, Wagner-supplied forces were operational against the US-Kurdish base at Deir ez-Zor.
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