The Kery-Lavrov deal on Syria has already got Russian troops into a combat situation with the rebels
Yesterday I warned Russian troops deployed to Aleppo to start implementing the Kerry-Lavrov deal on Syria could find themselves in rebels' crosshairs. Today I can report that they already have. We even have the video.
Scroll over to 5:30 for the most pertinent part:
There's a few other interesting aspects of the video:
1.) The troops in the background are Russian. They fire back and start advancing together towards the fire.
2.) When the shooting starts neither the Russian officer (the one in battle gear), nor the Syrian (the slightly older fellow in the cap) retreat or seek cover but merely hunker down while staying in camera frame. They seek better cover only when the Russian general orders his officer to do so. The exact words of the general are:
General: -- Thank you. Now Colonel Kapitsin is going to talk to us..
[Sounds of shooting]
General: - Sergei Anatolievich, please..
[Shooting is intensifying]
General: -- So, I am asking the representatives at the Castello road to take cover in a safe place.
(Shouting): Take cover! Take cover
Mind you rebels have claimed they have carried out no such attacks and that it was instead staged by the Russians. We aren't in a position to know one way or the other but mind you this was a televised event in Russia and the Russian public does not support their military getting bogged down in Syria.
Therefore showing Russian marines in a Syria firefight and revealing their boys find themselves in real danger due to the Kerry-Lavrov agreement does not necessarily help Kremlin. Why fake an incident that could hurt you as easily as it could help you?
— The Inside Source (@TheInsideSourc)September 14, 2016
If you're inclined there is another Russian TV report (unfortunately no subtitles) on what the Russian presence at Castello road means:
— Syria Today (@todayinsyria)September 13, 2016
Civilian vehicles are now able to relatively freely cross from and into eastern Aleppo across Russian-manned checkpoints -- subject to a weapons search of the vehicle. (Interestingly the video features the same two Russian and Syrian commanders who were shot at during the briefing.)
-- UPDATE: New video from the scene reveals the soldiers in the background were Syrian. The Russian officer giving the report is the only Russian military personnel on the scene.