Four Russian soldiers killed in eastern Syria

Four Russian soldiers killed in eastern Syria
Russia suffered casualties during an overnight battle with Islamic State fighters in the eastern Deir az-Zour province earlier this week.
2 min read
Russian soldiers pictured stationed in Aleppo province [Getty]

Four Russian soldiers were killed in a clash with "terrorists" in northeastern Syria, the country's Defence Ministry said on Sunday.

The four were military advisers attached to a Syrian army unit in the Deir az-Zour region. 

In a statement reported by Russian news agencies, the ministry said "two Russian military advisers, who controlled fire of the Syrian battery, died at the scene." It says five others were wounded, two of whom died in a Russian military hospital.

The ministry said 43 insurgents were killed in the nighttime battle.

The statement did not say exactly when or where the fighting occurred, although several other reports suggested it may have taken place on 23 May. 

According to figures released on Sunday by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, nine Russian soldiers had been killed on Wednesday alongside at least 26 Syrian regime forces in an attack in Deir az-Zour by the Islamic State. 

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP "several groups" of militants had attacked pro-regime forces near Mayadeen town and that some Russian nationals were with them at the time. 

Local Russian media in the Siberian city of Chita also reported on the funerals of four soldiers killed in Syria on 23 May. 

The Russian statement raised the official count of soldiers killed in Syria to 92. 

Russia entered the Syria conflict directly in September 2015, offering air power and assistance to its regime ally that paved the way for the recapture of more than half the country's territory. 

More than 350,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the now seven-year-long war, mostly at regime hands. 

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