Last week I wrote about a Russian "mercenary" attack in Syria. It's described here by USAF Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, in command of USAF Central Command, at a news conference.
It seems that a lot more was going on than was mentioned in that brief, bald official announcement. John Ringo, well-known military science fiction author and veteran of US service, has his own sources of information. He wrote on Facebook:
1. Sov... err... Russians built a bridge over the Euphrates which was the designated 'deconfliction line'. Why? Reasons. 'Commite of Nations' or something.
2. 'Hybrid' force of mixed Russian contractors including multiple non-ethnic Russians (Serbs, Kossack, other non Slavics) as well as local Syrian Army 'commandos' attacked across temporary bridge. The 'Russian' side were 'Blackwater' equivalent mercenaries from a company generally called 'Wagner' which is the nom de plume of the boss. (Like if you called Blackwater 'Prince'.)
3. Unit was partially mechanized, battalion strength. (One thing everyone agrees upon is 'about 600-700 personnel.') Had some towed artillery as well as 't-55 and T-72 MBT as well as armored personnel carriers.' (Type unknown.) Full on 'we're taking that position and you're not stopping us' full court press.
4. Unit crossed bridge, arty deployed.
5. Arty opened fire while most of unit was still in approach column formation. (Normal) One portion moved to flanking positions.
5A. Minute the arty opened fire **** GOT REAL REAL QUICK.
6. Reapers took out artillery and most of armor with Hellfire. From the few videos, pretty much before they knew what hit them. There had to be quite a few Reaper drones up or they were feeding guidance to Hellfire from Apaches (see below.)
7. F-15E Eagles came in for clean-up and to check for anti-air defenses.
8. Warthogs showed up just to go BRRRRRRT!
9. AC-130 Spectre started ****ing up their day for the hell of it.
10. To add insult to injury, B-52s which, you know, just HAPPENED to be in the area, just minding our own business, just passing by from Diego Garcia which is a few thousand miles away, on our way to... somewhere... nothing to see here... decided to prove they could drop their entire load as precision guided weapons and just more or less DID A JDAM ARCLIGHT ON THEIR ***. At that point, more or less because CENTCOM said 'Why not? ARCLIGHT is always pretty to watch...'
11. The whole thing being so over it was ridiculous, AH-64 Apaches basically did 'hostile Bomb Damage Assessment' and complained there were no targets left.
12. Oh, and then the Kurds, to just really **** with these guys, released water from a dam upstream and broke their bridge. So they had to ford back with their wounded.
13. Nobody knows how many dead and wounded. Russians are saying 'only 8 Russian citizens' but that doesn't quite cover the whole of who may have been involved. One repeated number is 200 dead (remember, mixed Syrians, Russians and other ethnics) as well as pretty much the rest of the force wounded. (Not to mention pretty thoroughly demoralized.) One Kurd wounded. Probably fell off a stool laughing to tell truth.
There's more at the link. Worthwhile reading.