A disaster was reportedly averted throughout a 2017 confrontation wherein each side threatened to make use of pressure, a brand new e-book has claimed
The world’s main nuclear superpowers almost got here to blows in Syria after Russian forces threatened to destroy a US base except American particular forces vacated the power, a UK journalist has claimed in a brand new e-book.
The tense standoff occurred in Might 2017, on the top of the Syrian Civil Warfare, the UK’s Telegraph newspaper reported on Friday, citing a brand new e-book by one in all its personal staffers. It started when Russia demanded that US particular forces go away their base – the Al-Tanf garrison, situated close to the purpose the place the Syrian, Iraqi, and Jordanian borders meet – “or face destruction.”
US troops “dispersed into the desert as a precautionary measure,” in accordance with the report. US Military Normal Stephen Townsend, then commander of US-backed coalition forces in Syria, responded by sending his Russian counterpart an ultimatum: “Are we speaking or are we combating?”
After a quick pause, the Russian commander replied, “We’re speaking,” in accordance with veteran Telegraph journalist Con Coughlin’s new e-book, ‘Assad: The Triumph of Tyranny.’ Townsend then advised his coalition colleagues, “My Russian buddy simply backed down.”
The shut name got here whereas Russian Normal Sergey Surovikin, then commander of Moscow’s forces in Syria, was away on go away. “His alternative failed to watch the strict protocols agreed between the People and Russians to keep away from a direct confrontation between the 2 forces,” the Telegraph mentioned.
Whereas US forces presupposed to be specializing in combating Islamic State (IS) militants on the time, the Russian Protection Ministry claimed in October 2017 that they have been permitting jihadists to maneuver about freely round Al-Tanf. On the time, Russian forces have been serving to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime defeat US-backed rebels and IS.
US forces illegally occupied Syrian territory in the course of the civil warfare and proceed to take action to at the present time. Washington remains to be working with IS and different terrorist teams to hold out assaults in opposition to Syrian authorities forces, Russian Overseas Intelligence Service chief Sergey Naryshkin mentioned earlier this 12 months. Assad mentioned in March that the Al-Tanf garrison “serves completely as a base for coaching terrorists.”
The Syrian battle has repeatedly put Russian and US forces liable to probably escalatory clashes. A number of American troops have been reportedly injured when a Russian navy car struck a US car in August 2020. Russian fighters employed by non-public navy contractor Wagner Group have been reportedly concerned in a failed February 2018 assault by Syrian authorities forces on an outpost run by US troops and Syrian rebels in Deir al-Zour.