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SYRIA – US and Russian Forces Incident

On 26 Aug 2020 US and Russian Forces Incident  A Russian vehicle sideswiped a U.S. MRAP in a violent confrontation deep inside the Eastern Syria Donconfliction Zone, where Russian troops are not expected to be operating. Four U.S. troops suffered concussions. Officials from both countries are discussing the incident.

In recent months Russian forces have increasingly encroached on U.S. troop-controlled territory in eastern Syria, part of what officials say is a deliberate campaign to squeeze the U.S. military out of the region, POLITICO reported in June.

In the most violent skirmish in months between U.S. and Russian forces in Syria, a vehicle collision in the eastern part of the war-torn country left American troops with concussions,

  • The Russian and US governments have blamed each other for a collision between Russian and US armored vehicles in north-eastern Syria in which several US troops were injured. Video of the collision was broadcast by a Russian nationalist website,, then widely retweeted.
  • The video appears to show a Russian military vehicle in a desert convoy ramming a US armored car, as a Russian helicopter flies low overhead. Russia says the US obstructed a patrol.
  • A US defense official told BBC partner CBS News that Russian forces had entered a “security zone” that they had agreed to stay out of.

By John Dunford Download the PDF

Key Takeaway: US and Russian forces are engaged in a competition for influence and control of the major roads in northeast Syria, threatening the safety of US personnel. Russia seeks to expand its presence toward the Syria-Iraq border in the far northeast corner of Hasakah Province to cut off key US ground supply lines between Iraq and SyriaUS and Russian forces routinely disrupt each other’s patrols, leading to confrontations and risking escalation between the forces. A recent confrontation in the far northeast corner of Hasakah Province resulted in several US injuries after US and Russian vehicles collided. Russian helicopters also flew over US vehicles in an attempt to disperse them. Russia will continue its efforts to pressure the US presence through confrontations like these, while also threatening the security of US ground supply lines connecting US forces in Syria to Iraq.

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