kirill_makarov via ShutterstockRussian and Syrian troops carried out a ground assault on a military base in Deir ez-Zor, Syria on February 7. However the base was occupied by US soldiers, and the attackers were beaten back by a US air strike. Around 100 Russians were ultimately killed. And yet, diplomatically speaking, almost nothing happened: no threats, no sanctions, no war of words.
What prevented the situation from escalating was the fact that the attackers were not in fact members of the Russian armed forces, but private military and security contractors (PMSCs). This gave both sides the benefit of plausible deniability. …read more
Source: The Conversation