US, Russia Trade Blame for Syria Mad Max Olympics After Collision, Concussions to US Troops
US vehicles blocking the road moved to also interfere with the Russian attempt to go around them
Pentagon laying the blame on the Russians:
Chief Pentagon Spox Jonathan Hoffman on incident with Russians in NE Syria:
“We have advised Russians that their behavior was dangerous & unacceptable. We expect a return to routine & professional deconfliction in Syria & reserve the right to defend our forces vigorously" (1) pic.twitter.com/zkazjA6vRu
— Wladimir (@vvanwilgenburg) August 28, 2020
As is the White House:
The White House National Security Council said in a statement that a Russian vehicle struck a US mine-resistant ATV, “causing injuries to the vehicle’s crew.”
National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said the US vehicles were a security patrol of the anti-Daesh coalition.
He said the patrol departed the area to de-escalate the situation.
“Unsafe and unprofessional actions like this represent a breach of de-confliction protocols, committed to by the United States and Russia in December 2019,” said Ullyot.
“The coalition and the United States do not seek escalation with any national military forces, but US forces always retain the inherent right and obligation to defend themselves from hostile acts.”
However even Radio Free Europe has to admit that the Russians moved off the road when they encountered the US roadblock, but then the Americans mirrored their move and tried interfering also with the Russian attempt to go around them:
The Russian Defense Ministry claims a Russian patrol in Syria acted in self-defense when a vehicle in a military convoy rammed a coalition vehicle carrying U.S. soldiers.
Four U.S. soldiers reportedly suffered “mild concussion-like symptoms” as a result of the incident, which took place on the morning of August 26 in northeastern Syria.
Video of the encounter shows multiple Russian military vehicles traveling across an open field when they encounter U.S. military vehicles blocking a nearby road.
The collision appears to occur after U.S. vehicles enter the field in an attempt to prevent the Russian convoy from advancing.
U.S. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed the incident by telephone with his Russian counterpart, General Valery Gerasimov.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, coalition forces in Syria had been notified about the Russian convoy’s planned route, and the Russian military took “necessary steps” to end the incident and “further implement the assigned task.”
On the other hand, the Russians this time clearly came prepared, in numbers, and with a plan not to back down. Maybe they’ve had their fill?
The background to the US-Russian “road wars” since October 2019 is that the Russians have moved into northern Syria to guarantee the border against further Turkish encroachment into Kurdish-held Syria.
The US which according to Trump was at the time leaving Syria supported this, but after Trump’s U-turn that he would nonetheless stay in Syria to “take the oil”, the Americans started dictating how far the Russians can go, and which roads they can use.
Specifically, the Americans have insisted the Russians not take the M4 highway to their base in Qamishli, but instead, use an inferior and more roundabout path hugging the border.
A longer video of the confrontation. US forces appear to be blocking a road and then attempt to block the path of the Russian patrol when they drive through the field. An American MaxxPro MRAP appears to collide with a Russian Typhoon-K MRAP. 319/https://t.co/iCliZSYVY9 pic.twitter.com/xZTtN6l0Ib
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) August 26, 2020