first published on October 21, 2015 by Will
According to Reuters quoting a senior pro-Syrian government source, three Russians were killed and more were wounded during “shelling” by rebel forces in the besieged coastal province of Latakia, Syria.
The source claimed there were at least 20 Russians present during the attack. They also said that the Russians were not conventional troops, but “volunteers,” most likely meaning special operations troops similar to our Green Berets in advisory roles. Neither the Russian government nor the Syrian regime have yet confirmed the deaths.
The word “shelling” gets thrown around quite a bit by the media and sources not familiar with military weaponry. I have seen the term used for multi launch rocket systems as well as automatic grenade launchers. Rebel forces in Latakia, mainly the CIA-backed First Coastal Division, are equipped with BGM-71 TOW missiles, 80mm and 120mm mortars, as well as recoilless rifles. It may never be revealed exactly how these Russian forces were killed.
Latakia has been ground zero for one of the major offensives waged by the rekindled Syrian President Assad, backed by combat troops from Iran and Hezbollah, and airstrikes and advisors from Russia. The First Coastal Division has recently been targeted by multiple Russian airstrikes, in which their top commander and one of their trained TOW operators were killed.
The following video shows the various weapon systems, most likely to be attributed to the Russian deaths, being implemented by the First Coastal Division in Latakia within the last week.