February 15, 2018 / 12:55 PM / 11 days ago

Russia says 5 of its civilians may have been killed in Syria by U.S.-led forces

MOSCOW, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Five Russian citizens may have been killed in Syria in clashes with U.S.-led coalition forces this month, but they were not Russian military personnel, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman told a news briefing on Thursday.

The spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said media reports about dozens or hundreds of Russian dead in Syria were “disinformation”.

Associates of Russian private military contractors fighting alongside government forces in Syria have said there were large-scale casualties among the contractors when U.S.-led coalition forces clashed with pro-government forces in Syria’s Deir al-Zor province on Feb. 7. (reporting by Andrew Osborn and Denis Pinchuk, writing by Denis Pinchuk, editing by)

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