After US-backed rebels clashed with Russian mercenaries earlier this month, Moscow is warning Washington against “playing with fire” in Syria. The clash took place in the Deir ez-Zor area in eastern Syria.


Lavrov Photo Credit: Russian Presidential Executive Office

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov issued a warning to Washington on Monday morning in light of an armed clash between Russian mercenaries and rebels, which received air support from the US, earlier this month near Deir ez-Zor.

In Moscow, Lavrov said that Washington needs to stop “playing with fire” in Syria and accused the Pentagon of not updating the Kremlin and the Russian Defense Ministry about the rebels’ activities in the Deir ez-Zor area.

The mercenaries were apparently working for a private Russia-based military company called the Wagner Group. Reports indicate that the company may be directed by the Russian government.

Washington is claiming that the Pentagon detected an unidentified force that was preparing for an attack near Deir ez-Zor and updated Moscow about the discovery. However, the force then began to attack Kurdish bases in the area, prompting the rebels and US Air Force aircraft to respond.