Russia denies soldiers killed in Syria
A Russian soldier sits on a fighter jet at a military base in Latakia. (AFP/File)
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The Russian Defense Ministry has rejected reports on the deaths of Russian soldiers fighting alongside the Syrian government forces against Daesh terrorists.
"In relation to reports appearing in foreign media about the alleged deaths in Syria of Russian soldiers, we assert: there have been no casualties among soldiers from Russia's armed forces in Syria," the TASS news agency quoted the ministry as saying on Tuesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, reports said that at least three Russians were killed and several more injured after a shell struck their position in the coastal province of Latakia the night before.
The Russian embassy in Damascus said afterwards that it had no information about the reported fatalities, according to RIA news agency.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said sources in the area had confirmed the deaths of Russians, adding that they were believed to be volunteers not regular Russian forces.
Moscow says Russia has some trainers and advisers in Syria working with the Syrian army and also forces guarding Russia's bases in western Syria, but it has noted that there are no Russian troops in combat roles there.