New details unsurfaced regarding the three Russian soldiers that were killed on February 22nd during reconnaissance in Syria’s Deir Ezzor, Russian outlet Novaya Gazeta reported. The Russian Ministry of Defense initially announced of the deaths of the three soldiers on March 25th.
“A Russian UAZ off-road vehicle with a license plate number 928159 was ambushed in a desert region of Deir ez-Zor province,” said a message Novaya received from a source fighting on the side of the Russian and Syrian armed forces. – In the car were three Russian officers and a Syrian colonel, a Christian from Quseir named Monser Louis. He was their translator.”
According to the report, the Russian soldiers – two colonels and a major – were ambushed 40 kilometers from the village of Al-Mayadin, where the Russian military post is located.
The UAZ vehicle with the Russians allegedly moved along the highway Palmyra-Al-Mayadin, which runs through the desert, in the direction of Palmyra. According to the report, the car with the officers was accompanied by a convoy of six cars, in which there were about 30 fighters – Russians and Syrians, as well as two pick-up trucks, equipped with large-caliber DShK machineguns.
Their UAZ vehicle was later found with traces of heavy shelling and blood in the front and rear seats. Ten meters from the car there were “two huge pools of blood” on the sand, and next to them – remnants of two soldiers’ worth of military equipment.
The news outlet claimed that judging by the amount of blood, two of the passengers of the UAZ vehicle died on the spot, and the attackers took their bodies along with the two survivors. Soon after the soldiers vanished there were reports that the Russian Ministry of Defense organized a search and rescue operation.
Novaya Gazeta said one of the colonels belonged to the command of the 7th brigade of Syrian government forces, under the joint leadership of the Russian and Syrian military commanders.
On March 15th, BBC Russia [the report has since been updated], citing relatives, published the name of one of the Russian soldiers. It was Major Sukhrob Karimov, his remains were brought to Moscow, and parents living in Moscow were invited to provide genetic material necessary for analyzing and identifying the body.
In the same report, “BBC” talked about the “two colonels” who allegedly disappeared with Karimov, but no details were provided. And on March 25th, the Ministry of Defense reported that all those killed on February 22 were ambushed.
The quoted sources said that the Russian Ministry of Defense immediately sent a rescue team, the positions of the militants were discovered and destroyed. The bodies of the three Russians and one Syrian were discovered and taken back.
The recent Russian Defense Ministry statement said that a group of 30 militants linked to the death of the Russians was eliminated as a result of the joint operation of the Aerospace Forces and the Special Operations Forces.
Overall, Russian casualties in Syria are estimated at 112, according to official numbers. Nearly half of them are a result of the An-26 plane that crashed on March 6th at the Russian Khmeimim base, and the IL-20, shot down on September 17th.
One of the most known incident is the heroic death of Russian Special Forces officer Maxim Pletnev.
“He fired a guided projectile (ATGM) at the enemy’s rocket launcher, who responded with a shot at him. Maxim could have survived if he had left his position, especially since he saw a rocket flying at him. But he decided to bring the ATGM to the goal and accomplished this task, depriving the enemy of expensive equipment. Alas, he didn’t have enough time to hide from the return shot.”
Pletnev died on January 31st, at the age of 24 and was buried on February 4th at the Tikhoretsk cemetery.
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- 3 Russian Troops Killed In Terrorist Attack In Syria: Defense Ministry
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