İrem UZUN -TDO- A small number of U.S. troops were injured during an incident with Russian forces in Syria, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday. While such interactions between American and Russian forces are not rare, the incident highlights the risks of troops from both countries operating in close proximity in northern Syria and the potential for an escalation in tensions.
The Russian and U.S. governments have blamed each other for an incident. Video of the collision was broadcast by a Russian nationalist website, Rusvesna.su, then widely retweeted. The video appears to show a Russian military vehicle in a desert convoy ramming a U.S. armored car, as a Russian helicopter flies low overhead. Russian defense ministry said it had given the U.S. military prior warning that it would be patrolling in the area. "Despite that, in violation of existing agreements, the U.S. armed forces soldiers tried to block the Russian patrol," said a ministry statement quoted by Tass news agency.
The White House National Security Council (NSC) said a Russian vehicle struck a U.S. mine-resistant all-terrain vehicle, "causing injuries to the vehicle's crew". An unnamed U.S. military source told the Politico website that four U.S. soldiers suffered mild concussion. The Pentagon and U.S.-led military coalition fighting ISIS in Syria did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the incident.