Leaked Audio Reportedly Captures Russian Mercenaries Describing Humiliating Defeat By US In Syria

news

Leaked audio recordings said to be of Russian mercenaries in Syria capture expressions of lament and humiliation over a battle in early February involving U.S. forces and Russian nationals.


Published by Polygraph.info — a fact-checking website produced by Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, news organizations that receive funding from the United States government —the audio recordings paint a picture of Russian mercenaries essentially sent to die in an ill-conceived advance on a U.S.-held position in Syria. Polygraph says the audio recordings are from a source close to the Kremlin.

The Pentagon has described the attack as "unprovoked" and started by forces loyal to the Syrian government that crossed over the Euphrates River, which functions as a border between U.S.-backed troops and Russian-backed ones.

The Pentagon says that about 500 men began to fire on the position and that the U.S. responded with air power and artillery strikes. The audio from Polygraph seems to confirm that while giving some insight into the feelings of the defeated forces.

Related: Russia Warns US Not To ‘Play With Fire’ In Syria After Massive Battle Reportedly Killed Hundreds »

Also apparent in the audio is displeasure with how Russia has responded to the situation. Initially, Russia denied that its citizens took part in the clash. Later, a representative said five may have died. Last week, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the fight left "several dozen wounded" and that some had died.

The audio recordings, in which voices can be heard saying 200 people died "right away," appear to back up reports from Reuters, Bloomberg, and the Pentagon that roughly 100 — if not more— Russians died in the fight. Reuters has cited sources as saying the advance's purpose was to test the United States' response.

Russia is thought to use military contractors in Syria rather than its military — experts speculate it's to maintain deniability for acts of war and conceal the true cost of fighting from the Russian people. The Washington Post reported last week that U.S. intelligence reports with intercepted communications showed that a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin told a senior Syrian official he "secured permission" from the Kremlin before the advance on the U.S. forces.

The accounts in the audio also align with reports of how the battle went down, depicting an unprepared column of troops meeting an overwhelming air response before helicopter gunships strafed the remaining ones.

Here are the translated transcripts from Polygraph:

First clip:

"The reports that are on TV about ... well, you know, about Syria and the 25 people that are wounded there from the Syrian f--- army and — well ... to make it short, we've had our asses f--- kicked. So one squadron f--- lost 200 people ... right away, another one lost 10 people ... and I don't know about the third squadron, but it got torn up pretty badly, too ... So three squadrons took a beating ... The Yankees attacked ... first they blasted the f--- out of us by artillery, and then they took four helicopters up and pushed us in a f--- merry-go-round with heavy caliber machine guns ... They were all shelling the holy f--- out of it, and our guys didn't have anything besides the assault rifles ... nothing at all, not even mentioning shoulder-fired SAMs or anything like that ... So they tore us to pieces for sure, put us through hell, and the Yankees knew for sure that the Russians were coming, that it was us, f--- Russians ... Our guys were going to commandeer an oil refinery, and the Yankees were holding it ... We got our f--- asses beat rough, my men called me ... They're there drinking now ... many have gone missing ... it's a total f--- up, it sucks, another takedown ... Everybody, you know, treats us like pieces of s--- ... They beat our asses like we were little pieces of s--- ... but our f--- government will go in reverse now, and nobody will respond or anything, and nobody will punish anyone for this ... So these are our casualties."

Second clip:

"Out of all vehicles, only one tank survived and one BRDM [armored reconnaissance vehicle] after the attack, all other BRDMs and tanks were destroyed in the first minutes of the fight, right away."

Third clip:

"Just had a call with a guy — so they basically formed a convoy, but did not get to their f--- positions by some 300 meters. One unit moved forward, the convoy remained in place, about 300 meters from the others. The others raised the American f--- flag, and their artillery started f--- ours really hard. Then their f--- choppers flew in and started f--- everybody. Ours just running around. Just got a call from a pal, so there are about 215 f--- killed. They simply rolled ours out f--- hard. Made their point. What the f--- ours were hoping for in there?! That they will f--- run away themselves? Hoped to f--- scare them away? Lots of people f--- so bad [they] can't be f--- ID'd. There was no foot soldiers [on the American side]; they simply f--- our convoy with artillery."

Read more from Business Insider:

WATCH NEXT:

(U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Airman 1st Class Corey Hook)

Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Department of Veterans Affairs released an alarming report Friday showing that at least 60,000 veterans died by suicide between 2008 and 2017, with little sign that the crisis is abating despite suicide prevention being the VA's top priority.

Although the total population of veterans declined by 18% during that span of years, more than 6,000 veterans died by suicide annually, according to the VA's 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report.

Read More Show Less
President Donald Trump speaks during an event with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Pratt Industries, Sunday, Sept 22, 2019, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. (Associated Press/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he discussed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son in a call with Ukraine's president.

Trump's statement to reporters about his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came as the Democratic leader of a key congressional panel said the pursuit of Trump's impeachment may be the "only remedy" to the situation.

Read More Show Less
"It's kind of like the equivalent of dropping a soda can into canyon and putting on a blindfold and going and finding it, because you can't just look down and see it," diver Jeff Goodreau said of finding the wreck.

The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.

The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.

The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.

Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.

Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.

Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.

Read More Show Less
(CIA photo)

Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.

Read More Show Less

The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.

Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."

That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.

Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.

Read More Show Less