Vitaly Naumkin, a Russian government adviser on Syria, said: "No one wants to start a world war over a volunteer or a mercenary who wasn't sent by the state and was hit by Americans". I don't have any reporting that some Russians, non-Russian Federation soldiers, but Russian contractors, were among the casualties. "I advise you to contact the defence ministry". "We have not received that word" at key USA military headquarters, including the Pentagon.
Rankine-Galloway said that no U.S. or Syrian forces were killed or hurt in the tank attack, and the Pentagon reported only one SDF wounded after the attack on February 7.
The two sides have previously been careful to keep a communication channel to avoid collisions and confrontation between their warplanes and soldiers in the chaotic battlefield. "One cannot rule out that Russian citizens can be on Syria's soil". Circumstances of the conflict have not been established so far.
The US-led coalition drone destroyed the Russian-designed tank in eastern Syria close to the scene of last week's attack on pro-regime forces that left more than 100 Damascus loyalists dead.
Ionov said he was speaking out because he wanted any Russians who were killed to be officially recognized for their sacrifice.
Quoting a Pentagon official, CBS News first reported on 8 February that Russian mercenaries were among "pro-regime" forces that attacked the SDF base.
As details continue to emerge of last week's U.S. attacks on pro-Syrian forces, it appears that dozens, or by some accounts scores, of the slain were actually Russian military contractors working for the Syrian government.
Mattis last week dismissed any suggestion that Russian Federation had any control over the attacking force, whose nationalities, motives and makeup he could not identify.
The incident came three days after the US-led coalition killed more than 100 forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after shelling and using tanks to fire at the SDF and coalition advisors.
The Russian Defense Ministry charged that the February 7 incident reflected a US push to grab Syria's economic assets under the cover of fighting the Islamic State group.
"Those steps look increasingly like part of efforts to create a quasi-state on a large part of Syrian territory - from the eastern bank of the Euphrates River all the way to the border with Iraq", he said.
But Bloomberg say that two administration officials in the U.S. government say the country is in talks with Russian Federation in search of an explanation for what happened. Those claims couldn't be verified.
President Trump (L) with Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry earlier told TASS that reports on dozens and hundreds of Russian citizens allegedly killed in Syria were misinformation. Reports in Russian media have said Wagner - a shadowy organization known as Russia's answer to Blackwater - was hired by Assad or his allies to guard Syrian energy assets in exchange for oil concessions. The firm has not commented on the reports.
What about the Russian mercenaries?.
Meanwhile, an unknown number of Russians working for private military companies have been serving alongside regular Russian troops.