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Russian Sources Spread Rumors About New U.S. Casualties And Attacks On U.S. Forces In Syria

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On April 2 and April 3, pro-Russian Telegram channels and media activists were spreading rumors about new U.S. casualties and attacks on U.S. forces in Syria.

According to these rumors:

1. Some pro-government group “National Resistance Forces”, which supports the Damascus government, has shelled a US military base in the area of Raqqah with Grad rockets. The alleged goal of the group is to battle US and US-backed forces in Syria.

The alleged video of the shelling:

2. On March 30, a US military column was allegedly targeted by an IED blast on the road between al-Hasakah and Tell Abyad. Reports argue that two cars were destroyed, 6 US servicemembers were killed and 8 others were wounded in the icndient. Then, the group of US servicemen were allegedly evacuated by 3 helicopters. The rumors argue that the IED had been planted by local groups of “self-defense” acting against the US occupation.

3. Another US military column was allegedly targeted with heavy machine guns on the road between Manbij and Raqqa, also on March 30. The attack allegedly resulted in killing of 2 US servicemen and wounding of 8 others. US troops were once again evacuated by helicopeters, according to reports.

Currently, these rumors are gaining more and more attention from the English-speaking audience. Media activists and outlets spreading such reports claim that they have received information from local sources and even from sources in the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). At the same time, all the sources argue that the attacks were conducted by some “self-defense” or “resistance” groups operating within the area formally controlled by the US-led coalition and the SDF.

However, these reports lack photo or video evidence confirming the allged casualties among US servicemen.

According to Syrian experts, these rumors look like a soft version of the “Russian mercenaries” story when the mainstream media was claiming that over 100 “Russian fighters” had been killed in the US-led coalition strikes on Syrian forces in the province of Deir Ezzor. The key difference is that the “Russian fighters” story was a coordinated media campaign while the “US casialties story” looks like an attempt of some Telegram channels and media outlets to gain more views.

UPDATE: The Russian state-run TV channel Rossiya 24 reports on the issue citing Telegram channel WarGonzo (one of the key sources of the rumors).

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