U.S. Troops in Standoffs With Russian Military Contractors in Syria
In northeastern Syria, Russian personnel are engaged in standoffs with US troops. In this particular region of Syria, Russian personnel have violated agreements between the US and Russia to avoid conflict by staying out of one another’s way. Photos circulating throughout the media have shown US military trucks blocking vehicles that a local journalist claims are carrying Russian contractors.
Although the encounters haven’t evoked violence, they are escalating the tension between the two countries in Syria. The top US envoy James Jeffrey confirmed the standoffs, stating that they are increasing in frequency and some have occurred deep within areas controlled by the US and Kurdish forces. The incidents are raising concerns in Washington as the administration is worried about the risk of a clash between the two countries.