The Russian and US governments have blamed each other for a collision between Russian and US armoured vehicles in north-eastern Syria which occurred in desert when a routine security patrol encountered Russian troops near Dayrick in north-east Syria. News of the incident broke on Wednesday and the Russian defence ministry said it had given the US military prior warning that it would be patrolling in the area. “Despite that, in violation of existing agreements, the US armed forces soldiers tried to block the Russian patrol,” said a ministry statement. On the other part, the White House National Security Council (NSC) said a Russian vehicle struck a US mine-resistant all-terrain vehicle, “causing injuries to the vehicle’s crew”.
Four US soldiers were diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms. Washington has said the incident violated safety protocols agreed with Moscow. While Russian and US forces have operated in close proximity throughout the country’s long-running civil war, this is believed to be the first time US troops have been injured in an encounter with Russian forces. Video of the collision was broadcast by a Russian nationalist website, Rusvesna.su, then widely retweeted.