Recently, U.S. Ambassador James F. Jeffrey, who serves as the Special Representative for Syria Engagement, gave an interview to Russian journalists. His remarks offer insight into the future of the Syrian conflict, the possibility of an official Kurdistan, and Iranian terrorism.

Ambassador Jeffrey began by emphasising that the venues of communication between the American and Russian governments are functioning very well and that no change is necessary. Functioning, however, doesn’t mean productive when it comes to results.

Russian journalists, then, asked Jeffery about the Battle of Deir al-Zour, which took place in February 2018. Then, Syrian forces and Russian mercenaries working for the Wagner Group, a paramilitary company often linked with the Russian government, attacked a small outpost manned by a handful of American special operations troops — a mix of Delta Force operators and Rangers. A mission support site containing a few more Americans, Green Berets and Marines, was situated a few miles away. The ensuing four-hour firefight resulted in the complete defeat of the Syrian-Russian force.

Although he declined to comment on the specifics, he revealed that this was one incident of at least 12 occasions where American and Russian forces have faced one another, with “some involving exchange of fire, some not.”