DAMASCUS, (BM) – The US military appears to be changing its tactics in confronting Russian forces in Syria, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, following a recent incident that sustained minor injuries to several US troops in the north-eastern region of the Arab republic.
Earlier, the US contingent tried to block the movements of Russian colleagues in Hasake province with the help of side rams and other provocative actions by American armored vehicles. Now there is a different trend – air “escort” of the movements of Russian convoys in the specified province using helicopters, which literally hang over the armored vehicles of a potential enemy.
In one such incident this week, US Air Force attack helicopters were seen circling over a Russian army convoy in Hasak reported by Al-Masdar News. In a video posted on YouTube, American helicopters quickly approached Russian vehicles and circled above them in the roadway.
“Two American combat helicopters AH-64 Apache, violating the agreements on the interaction of the parties, accompanied the convoy of Russian military personnel,” military experts noted.
“Apparently, the American command, after serious physical and psychological traumas of its servicemen, did not abandon its attempts to control the movement of Russian patrols, only now, without creating obstacles on the ground,” they added.
The US military knew in advance about the passage of the Russian military police convoy in northeastern Syria, but tried to block it, thereby violating bilateral agreements. This statement, as reported by BulgarianMilitary.com, on August 27, was made by the Russian Ministry of Defense, commenting on an earlier incident involving Russian and US military personnel.
“In violation of the existing agreements, the US military attempted to block the Russian patrol. In response, the military police of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation took the necessary measures to prevent the incident and further fulfill the task,” the message said.
It was also indicated that the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, had discussed this incident the day before with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, Mark Milli.
The Pentagon previously informed that several US military personnel received concussions after a Russian military patrol rammed an American armored vehicle. Washington called the incident a violation of security protocols agreed with Moscow. “To de-escalate the situation, the (American) coalition patrol left the area of the incident,” said National Security Council spokesman John Ulliott.
“The coalition and the United States do not want to escalate with the military of other countries, but the US military retains the natural right and responsibility to protect itself from hostile manifestations.”
The conflict situation took place near the city of Al-Malikiya [Hasakah province], in the region bordering with Iraq in the north-east of the Arab republic. The US military has long made the Syrian-Iraqi border “transparent” for itself, actively deploying forces on both sides.
The Russians clashed with the Americans on one of the main roads leading to the Iraqi border, as a result, Russian military personnel tried to cut off a potential enemy from the roadway. A close-up video of the incident showed Russian military vehicles and an Mi-8 helicopter surrounding US military equipment during one of the most intense moments of the “road incident” near El Malikia.
War in Syria
In February, Turkey lost at least 62 troops killed in Syria, nearly 100 soldiers were wounded, dozens of Turkish armored vehicles were destroyed and more than ten drones, including drone, were shot down. Washington has repeatedly accused Moscow of involvement in the deaths of Turkish soldiers, Russia rejects these allegations.
In early March, the presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, concluded an agreement according to which a ceasefire came into force in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad later said that if the US and Turkish military did not leave the country, Damascus would be able to use force.
The reason for the Russian-Turkish negotiations was a sharp aggravation of the situation in Idlib, where in January a large-scale offensive by the Syrian army against the positions of the armed opposition and terrorists began.
Government forces recaptured nearly half of the Idlib de-escalation zone and left behind a number of Turkish observation posts. After that, Ankara sharply increased its military contingent in the region and launched the operation “Spring Shield” to push the Syrian troops. Turkey is also supported by militants loyal to it.
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