During the past two days, speculations and rumors about new “Russia casualties” surfaced in a number of Syrian media outlets after an IED blast had reportedly hit barracks of the 5th Assault Corps of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the province of Deir Ezzor.
According to a version “popular” among pro-opposition media outlets and activists, the blast hit a “HQ” of the Russian military near the Panorama checkpoint southwest of Deir Ezzor city killing at least 5 Russian fighters and injuring multiple Syrian and Russian troops. However, no of the sources spreading these rumors was able to provide any evidence (photo or video) confirming this incident.
The only thing, which may contribute to this speculations, is that the blast targeted the 5th Assault Corps (reportedly its unit known as ISIS Hunters), which is known for being a Russian-supported military formation. Some pro-government sources even claimed that there had been no blast near the barracks. According to this version, the blast was caused by an SAA decision to eliminate a number of IEDs, which had been recently found in the liberated areas.
False rumors contributing to the mainstream media narrative play an important role in the ongoing propaganda war over the Syrian conflict. The February 2018 story with “scores” of killed “Russian fighters” is one of the most prominent examples how unconfirmed speculations can reach a wide international audience.