World War 3: Putin under pressure to recognise Russia mercenaries in Syria
Although Kremlin officials said troops were withdrawn from Syria, the Russian military continue to participate in the war.
Private companies, such as PMC Wagner, are in operation in the disaster struck country.
Russia’s Ministry of Defence has never confirmed the information.
But mercenary activity is a crime under Russian law.
The Russian Veterans Organisation have appealed to the Kremlin to allow the soldiers fighting in the PMC to receive the same social and economic support from the state as other soldiers.
Several high-ranking retired officers have joined in the request.
But statements by veterans may violate a taboo in discussing secret operations.
According to Russian independent television channel TV Rain, a similar body to PMC Wagner is in Syria and is called PMC Patriot.
The Kremlin has provided air support to Bashar al-Assad’s forces
PMC Patriot is connected to the Defence Ministry and is formed with military personnel, according to reports.
Veterans who appealed to the Kremlin confirmed the presence of the company in Syria.
Russia is in an alliance with Syria in combatting rebel forces in the war-torn country.
The Kremlin has provided air support to Bashar al-Assad’s forces and has several airbases in Syria.
Veterans who appealed to the Kremlin confirmed the presence of the company in Syria
Washington has a phone line with the Kremlin to inform them of any impending attack so as to avoid hitting Russian forces and escalating the conflict.
But nonetheless, Russian mercenary forces have still been hit by US airstrikes.
On February 7 this year “hundreds of Russian mercenaries” were killed during a surprise attack on an oil refinery.
US Army Brigadier General Jonathan Braga, director of operations for the main US military task force in charge of operations in Iraq and Syria, feared retaliation and claimed the attack occurred on the night of February 7.
He said: “We saw vehicle movements, troop movements, rehearsals and alike, something we had not seen before.
“I called my Russian contact. We deconflict with the Russians to make sure there are no miscalculations and de-escalate anything that might be happening.
“About two hours later we started receiving artillery rounds followed by tank direct fire and then eventually small arms fire from upwards of several hundreds of forces.
“They were moving artillery in closer. We had another phone call with the Russians to say ’stop this’.
“When we feel threatened we have certain measures that we take. We then escalated.