Spc. DeAndre Pierce via Wikimedia Commons

In the latest, and most serious, example of Russian military provocation against U.S. forces in eastern Syria, on Tuesday a Russian military police vehicle sideswiped a U.S. military MRAP vehicle, injuring four Americans. Video shows two Russian helicopters also aggressively flew overhead – one as close as 20 meters (70 feet) from the U.S. vehicles.

U.S. troops are usually accompanied by members of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighting terrorists from the Islamic State (IS)Four US soldiers suffered concussions, according to the Military Times (MT). The violent confrontation occurred deep inside the Eastern Syria Deconfliction Zone, where Russian troops should not be operating.

These serious military incidents are unacceptable. The U.S. needs to push back.

Of course, the Russian Defense Ministry blamed the U.S. troops for the incident. “In violation of the existing agreements, the U.S. troops attempted to block the Russian patrol,” the ministry said in a statement reported by MT. “In response to that, the Russian military police took the necessary measures to prevent an incident and to continue the fulfillment of their task.”

However, various videos posted online show the incident was deliberate and unprovoked, despite the spin to the contrary. Several hours later, the Pentagon denied the Russian allegations. Pentagon chief spokesman Jonathan Hoffman stated in a press release reported by Military Times that:

Russian forces breached our deconfliction arrangement in Syria and injured U.S. service members with their deliberately provocative and aggressive behavior. Our military deconflicts operations in time and space with Russian forces in Syria to protect the force and mitigate risk of unintended escalation.

We commend our personnel on the ground for de escalating this unfortunate encounter through professionalism and restraint, which are hallmarks of the U.S. military.

We have advised the Russians that their behavior was dangerous and unacceptable. We expect a return to routine and professional deconfliction in Syria and reserve the right to defend our forces vigorously whenever their safety is put at risk.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said in a statement reported by the MT that a Russian vehicle struck the American vehicle near Dayrick, in northeast Syria. He blamed the Russian military for “unsafe and unprofessional actions” that breached deconfliction protocols between the two countries.

Military Times added that:

Russia, which has waged a military campaign in Syria that helped President Bashar Assad reclaim control over most of the country following a devastating civil war, long has bristled at the presence of the U.S. troops deployed in the country to fight the Islamic State group and have called for their pullout.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin is testing U.S. resolve and escalating tensions to prompt a U.S. withdrawal. The Trump administration and Pentagon should make it clear to Putin, that provocative and dangerous confrontations with U.S. forces are unacceptable, and that any further incidents will result in serious consequences.

The U.S. needs to push back on Russian bullying in Syria just as it pushes back on Chinese bullying in the South China Sea.

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Ernst
Ernst
1 month ago

Fortunately, the US does not take foreign policy instruction from American Action News or from Paul Crespo. The American military will take action appropriate to the situation.

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Ernst

Maybe.

teflon
teflon
1 month ago

Why didn’t our troops get the go ahead to respond

BooDaddy
BooDaddy
1 month ago
Reply to  teflon

In this instance, if ‘provoked’ the Russki helos could make short work of our MRAPs. There will be a time, place and strategy for ‘retaliation’. Oorah!

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  BooDaddy

We never seem to have the appropriate response close at hand.

Cristy Edwards
Cristy Edwards
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

In due time.

Josephine Lara
Josephine Lara
1 month ago
Reply to  Cristy Edwards

Agree this is a ploy to mess up our elections. Trump will only take so much! biden will pat them on the head and say now now boys that was bad! You can be sure they have heard from OUR President, and men stationed there. Thank GOD he does not just react!

Jo Scott
Jo Scott
1 month ago

YES, WE DO, BLOW THEM OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH.