THE fog of war sits heavily over the circumstances of a clash between United States and Syrian forces last week.
Now the potential death of an unknown number of Russians in the intense battle threatens to further destabilise an already tumultuous situation.
Some unsubstantiated Russian social media sources are claiming a “massacre” of two mercenary fighting units. One was reportedly wiped out, and the other “cut to pieces” by US firepower, killing up to 200 Russian nationals.
Other sources say a “handful” of contracted Russian advisers were caught up in the onslaught.
At the heart of the scenario is an assault last week by some 500 pro-Syrian President Assad regime troops on an encampment of US-backed Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) rebels.