Russia finds US mercenaries in Syria

Summary

US Central Command is increasing the presence of mercenaries in Syria to make up for the withdrawal of regular troops. Only in the second half of June another 540 private military contractors arrived to the country, including commanders and instructors. The mercenaries are transported by car in groups of 12 to 16 people, and their task is mainly to form combat units loyal to Washington and protect oil and gas infrastructures.

Disproof

The deployment of US private military contractors (PMC) in this war theatre is no secret: in 2018, the Pentagon acknowledged the presence of over 5,500 PMCs in Syria and Iraq. Therefore, claiming that "Russia found them" now is a deliberate distortion of facts. No evidence is provided to support the affirmation than their number is increasing or that 540 were sent to Syria last June.

Moreover, this so-called revelation coincides with reports about the presence of Russian ground troops fighting in Idlib, denied by Moscow. Mentioning PMCs' task of protecting hydrocarbon facilities is significant, since this is exactly what Russian private military contractors have been doing in Syria, and serves to fuel the recurrent Russian narrative of a US aggression to take over the resources of the country.

You can see other examples of disinformation about the US presence in Syria, such as its alleged plans to divide the country, its alleged support to jihadist groups, its alleged plundering of archaeological sites, its alleged role in fake chemical attacks or its alleged deliberate targeting of civilians.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 153
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/07/2019
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Syria
  • Keywords: gas, Syrian War, Foreign mercenaries
  • Outlet: Sputnik Spanish
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NATO is preparing colour revolutions in several CSTO countries

NATO forces are preparing colour revolutions in some Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) countries to put Western-controlled regimes in power. The goal of the Atlantic Alliance is to seed discord among the members of the CSTO and cooperating with NATO always implies an anti-Russian element.

Disproof

Six countries are full members of CSTO: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, with Afghanistan and Serbia as observer states. No evidence is provided to support the claim that NATO is working on fomenting protests in of any of them.

The alleged preparation of ‘colour revolutions’ to destabilise non-Western countries and take Western-backed leaders to power is a recurrent Russian disinformation narrative, frequently used to justify the persecution against domestic opposition. There are variations to this narrative, claiming that the force behind the ‘colour revolutions’ is either the US, NATO or George Soros, but it is often used to discredit popular protests all over the world, from Hong Kong to Georgia to Venezuela, and to justify the governments taking strong actions against them.

Europe is doing everything to destroy the INF treaty

Instead of accusing Russia of “all sorts of sins,” Europe should begin a constructive dialogue on the INF Treaty. Europe must look at itself, review its behavior and start a constructive dialogue in order to preserve this treaty. But they are doing everything to destroy the INF Treaty, and then blame Russia.

Disproof

Unfounded accusation of Europe's role in the destruction of the INF treaty. In fact, the EU urged the treaty's parties, the United States and the Russian Federation, to remain engaged in constructive dialogue to preserve the INF Treaty and ensure its full and verifiable implementation, which is crucial for Europe’s and global security.

The EU has called on the US to consider the consequences of its possible withdrawal from the INF for its own security, the security of its allies and that of the whole world. The EU has also called on both the US and Russia to remain engaged in constructive dialogue to preserve the INF Treaty, and on Russia to address the serious concerns regarding its compliance with the treaty. NATO considers Russia to be in violation of the INF Treaty, and the alliance has called on Russia to return urgently to full and verifiable compliance with the agreement.

The investigation of MH17 was turned into an anti-Russian show

Russia has its own version of what happened [with the MH17 flight downing on July 17, 2014]. But Western investigators simply assigned the perpetrators. If there was evidence, they would turn it into a bigger show. But they have nothing, so they continue to raise this topic by official statements. This is easier than admitting that the investigation was not objective.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the downing of the MH17.

Regarding the Russian version of events, the claims by Buk manufacturer Almaz-Antey were debunked already in 2015 by Bellingcat. The evidence conducted by the Russian military company Almaz-Antey is only a small sample of misleading claims and conspiracy theories advanced by Moscow since 2015, many of which have contradicted one another. See previous debunking of these claims herehere, and here, and a summary of disinformation narratives on this case here.