Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev, AP
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military on Thursday blamed U.S. troops for a collision of Russian and U.S. military vehicles in Syria’s northeast.
U.S. officials said Wednesday that a Russian vehicle sideswiped a light-armored U.S. military vehicle, injuring four Americans, while two Russian helicopters flew overhead, one as close as 20 meters (70 feet) from the U.S. vehicle.
U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said in a statement that a Russian vehicle struck the American vehicle near Dayrick, in northeast Syria. He blamed the Russian military for “unsafe and unprofessional actions” that breached deconfliction protocols between the two countries.
In Thursday’s statement, the Russian Defense Ministry said Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian military’s General Staff, had a phone call Wednesday with Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, to discuss the incident.
In the call, Gerasimov pointed out that the Russian military had notified the U.S.-led coalition about the route of a Russian military police convoy.