The circumstances of the death of the soldiers of the “Wagner PMs” in Syria are not completely clear yet, but the fact that on February 7 the Americans bombed the column, in which there were both Syrians and Russians, can not be doubted – as well as the fact that the column moved to the CONOCO plant, in control over which Russia was interested. The media understood the causes of what happened.
According to the Russian military source Kommersant, the incident in the province of Deir ez Zor in the north of the country was an attempt by local “big businessmen currently supporting Bashar Assad” to seize oil and gas fields controlled by the Kurds, the US allies. For this purpose, pro-government tribal units moved on the offensive, and the so-called ISIS Hunters hunters, reinforced by the soldiers of the Wagner PMC, marched in the second echelon. They were the target of the strike of the US Air Force and mortar shelling. At the same time, the Russian command in Syria did not authorize an offensive operation on oil fields, which was perceived as “dangerous initiative”. As the former colleague of the several soldiers of the “PWK Wagner” killed on February 7 told the newspaper, there was no support from the air from the detachment and it was not promised. “The whole calculation was that after the shelling ours will quickly take over this factory, the Kurds will throw their weapons. And the Americans will not be beaten by their own when the close battle begins, ” the interlocutor noted. But by the beginning of the fighting, only half of the detachment had managed to unfold in battle order (“Private fighters”).
According to the command of the Russian military group in Syria, there was no need for Russians in the convoy moving in the direction of the Conoco oil and gas field. Our military transferred this information to colleagues from the United States, and they decided to attack the AC-130 air convoy and the Ah-64 Apache helicopter, F-15 fighters and drones, as well as artillery batteries. Already after the aircraft-artillery strike, according to sources of Novaya Gazeta in Syria, it turned out that there were Russians in the column. 13 of them were killed, another fifteen were injured. According to Jan Bronitsky, a graduate of the military academy, an expert on the activities of PMCs outside of Russia, in this situation there was not a mistake, but treachery. Experts consider ISIS Hunters the most efficient unit, a kind of Syrian special forces, in which serve the most trained militants of Assad. For them, the loss of more than ten people is a serious loss. In addition, the fighters from ISIS Hunters and “PWC Wagner” were nominated at night, but, despite this, were discovered and attacked. Error or betrayal ?
As the source of the Moskovsky Komsomolets, who is directly in Syria, explaining the circumstances of the tragedy, the Syrians and Russians decided to seize the plant from the Kurds in the zone of the Americans’ work: “There were three companies of private traders and the militia of the Syrians. The first line of Kurds and Americans was demolished quite quickly, even too easily. Then aviation flew, drones and turntables, and they were threshed for four hours.”
However, the publication notes that according to another version, the shot column counterattacked the fighters ISIS, which began to retreat towards the refinery CONOCO, where the US secret base was allegedly at the same time. The source named the total figure of 40 people dead and 72 wounded (referring, again, mainly to the Syrians). “I do not understand what they were counting on,” he was surprised. “They climbed with some Kalashi on the Americans. But this was purely a commercial topic. It has nothing to do with war … ”
As the author of the article in “RBC” notes, the hottest question for the US is to establish control over the critical infrastructure on which the Syrian economy depends – directly or through allied Kurdish-Arab formations of the SDS. Touching upon the incident directly, the US military seems to have been convinced that they designate their “red line” without any serious military or political consequences, because “this does not directly affect Russia.” There will be no such consequences for obvious reasons. However, what happened shifted the “pain threshold” of the clash of the great powers one more point down. Both Moscow and Washington would like to avoid such a clash. Perhaps, for this very reason, such incidents are quickly brought to the public sphere – so that in the future they will not be repeated.
Now about the personalities of the Russians who died in Syria. One of them – a member of the organization “Other Russia” Kirill Ananiev, who fought in the Donbass. In a recent media interview, he admitted that he hated the war. February 7 in Syria and a participant in the Cossack movement, 52-year-old Vladimir Loginov from Kaliningrad, died. Among the dead – the natives of the Urals town of Asbestos – Stanislav Matveyev and Igor Kosoturov, who also fought volunteers in the Donbass, and then went to Syria. Aleksey Ladygin, also deceased, was from Ryazan.
As a member of Special Airborne Forces he fought near Debaltsevo, Ukraine, as well.