Militant shelling kills 4 Russian soldiers in Syria

Clay Curtis
May 27, 2018

Two were military advisers supporting Syrian artillery operations and died immediately, and another two died of their wounds in a Russian-operated military hospital in Syria.

Four Russian military personnel were killed in fighting in eastern Syria's Deir al-Zor province, Interfax news agency reported on Sunday, citing the Russian Defence Ministry.

Russian fighters were among dozens of pro-government forces killed in eastern Syria this week in a deadly wave of attacks by Islamic State group jihadists, Moscow and a monitor said Sunday.

Syria's army took Deir al-Zour city last November but Islamic State fighters remain active in the province.

Russian Federation has been participating in the fight against the Islamic State and insurgent groups in Syria since September 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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Since then, Russian Federation mainly conducted air strikes against groups opposed to the government, including the Syrian National Coalition, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al-Nusra Front, and others. Three other troops were wounded.

The defence ministry in Moscow said its forces had killed 43 militants in the fighting.

A group of Russian private military contractors, who were helping Syrian and Russian forces in the drive against Takfiri terrorists in Dayr al-Zawr, were killed in early February when they came under attack by U.S. forces.

The Russian military is backing Syria's army with air strikes and troops, but there are also widespread reports of private Russian mercenaries on the ground. In February, up to 200 Russian contractors were believed to have been killed by USA airstrikes after pro-regime forces launched an assault on US-backed Kurdish forces in Deir Ezzor province.

The highest casualties were in March, when a transport plane crashed at Hmeimim airbase where Moscow's airforce is based, killing all 39 people on board.

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