On August 30, the ISIS-link news agency Amaq claimed that ISIS fighters killed two Russian military service members near Uqayribat town in the eastern Hama countryside.
Amaq claimed that the two Russian soldiers and several Syrian soldiers were killed when ISIS repelled their attack towards Uqayribat town.
Furthermore, Amaq released photos of the two alleged Russian soldiers’ bodies. In photos both of the soldiers don’t wear the official gear or uniforms of the Russian military or the Syria Arab Army (SAA). Furthermore, the photos don’t show insignias or other marks that allow to identify the bodies.
The Russian Defense Ministry has not commented these claims yet.
The two soldiers could be some private military contractors operating on the side of the Syrian government. Or the killed persons were members of some pro-government group.
In a separate development, a local source from the southern Raqqa countryside claimed that ISIS recaptured all the villages on the western bank of Euphrates river from Ghanim al-Ali to al-Sabkha village. However, sources from the SAA denied these claims but confirmed that the area was under a major attack of ISIS.
It’s unlikely that the SAA situation in the southern Raqqa countryside will improve significantly soon because the SAA is now focusing on al-Sukhnah-Deir Ezzor highway and the ISIS pocket in the eastern Hama countryside.