Washington: The US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis clarified that it can not be confirmed that the attack on the US soldiers ten days ago, was done by Russia. But Mattis also informed that Russia has not been given a ‘Clean Chit’ in respect of the attack on the US soldiers and Russian contractors were a part of the concerned attack. The statements by Mattis are seen from the angle of the increasing tensions between the US and Russia in the Syrian conflict.
The Secretary of Defense clarified the US position on the events in the gulf and Europe, while talking to the reporters after his return from the visit to the European countries. At that time, the Secretary of Defense was asked a question about the attack on the US soldiers. Secretary of Defense Mattis clarified that more details can not be given at this time.
It is still unclear as to why the Russians attacked the US soldiers. But, they were instructed by someone. Secretary of Defense Mattis said that he doesn’t know and he shouldn’t even be asked, whether Syrian government gave these instructions or someone from outside had told them. ‘But, it is simply not agreeable that 250 to 300 people crossed the Euphrates river on their own and started attacks on the bases of the US supporters. It will be investigated as to who had given them the orders’, said Mattis expressing a doubt that someone else was behind the attacks.
Russian fighter jets had attacked bases of the US soldiers, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, primary rebel organisation in Syria) and Kurdish rebel organisations. There were casualties in the SDF and the Kurdish rebels but the US soldiers escaped, the US army had declared.
After this attack, in the counter attack by US and its allied countries in the ‘Euphrates river’ region in northern Syria, 300 Russian allies were killed. It was claimed that it included soldiers from pro-Russian organisations from Syria, Iraq and Iran. There were reports of some Russian soldiers being killed in the attack as well. About 200 Russian contractors were also believed to be killed in the attack. But, Russia avoided to comment on this.
Russia had declared within a few hours of the attack that its citizens were a part of the concerned attack. A large number of Russian-made tanks and military vehicles were destroyed in the attack. The international media had claimed this to be a major shock for the Russian Army in Syria.