Moscow Preliminarily Confirms Death of 5 Russians in Coalition's Strike in Syria

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Seven other people, mostly pro-government Syrian fighters, died in the blast, he added.

After having served in his current position for more than four years, "this is as violent and worrying and unsafe a moment as any that I have seen in my time as Special Envoy", Mistura said. Probably the Russians never expected that the U.S. forces would call in air strikes and wipe out the 300 odd attackers trying to smoke the SDF/Special Operations base.

At least six Russian mercenaries - and reportedly scores more - who were fighting on the side of Bashar al-Assad, died in the United States strikes, multiple reports from Russia suggest.

They crossed the Euphrates River, shelling an SDF base, where American advisers were present.

The three-hour USA attack was carried out with B-52 bombers, AC-130 gunships, F-15E attack planes, Apache attack helicopters and Reaper drones.

The Syrian government on Tuesday undermined the main outcome of last month's peace talks in Sochi by rejecting United Nations -led efforts to form a committee to oversee the drafting of a new Syrian constitution, Reuters reported.

According to reports from the Department of Defense, a Russian-made T-72 Main Battle Tank was destroyed by a drone strike after it attempted to engage Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the coalition advisors working alongside them in Syria on Saturday, one week after a large scales engagement between pro-Assad and SDF troops forces in the region.

Russia did not, and never have acknowledged that the Little Green Men, also sometimes called the Polite Men in Crimea, belonged to the Russian state.

"We can't offer support for peace on the one hand and ignore the fact that the chief sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East and its terrorist militia are digging in", Haley told the council, also blaming Russian Federation for failing to control the violence. Elements of both sides are fighting the last remnants of the Islamic State group in Syria.

Mr Yavlinsky said fierce mercenary forces "are trained at Russian army facilities" and "receive military awards in the Kremlin" in secret.

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Confusion reigns over a recent series of USA airstrikes in Syria that allegedly killed several Russian mercenaries. According to reports, Coalition and SDF troops recovered three bodies from the tank. The Syrian advance was rebuffed by an immediate and intense USA response, which included a three-hour assault by AC-130 Hercules gunships, F-15 strike fighters, F-22 stealth fighters, Apache helicopters and US Marine artillery.

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In fact, in a unusual twist, not only did the Russian military claim to not have been involved, but oddly, they did not demand an explanation from the USA for the reported Russian deaths.

They are believed to have been employed by a private Russian company called Wagner.

How did the Kremlin react?

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) watches troops previous year at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria. He said he was not aware of any other provocations against the coalition that day.

De Mistura spoke at a Security Council meeting and was followed by US Ambassador Nikki Haley and Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who traded accusations about responsibility for the violence and for blocking the path to peace. "I advise you to contact the defence ministry". That opening line seems conservative, as the article itself cited a Syrian military officer saying that some 100 Russians were killed, while a Russian businessman in Syria suggested that the number was even higher.

"Far from winding down, Syria's civil war is threatening to trigger direct conflicts between the United States and Turkey, Israel and Iran, and even the United States and Russian Federation". Moscow launched a military operation in Syria in support of President Assad on 30 September 2015.

The Russian government denies any official involvement in the incident.