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Reuters: Syria cracked down on Wagner fighters during rebellion

by Martin Fornusek July 8, 2023 2:59 AM 1 min read
Russian military police members stand outside an armoured personnel carrier (APC) along a road in the countryside near the northeastern Syrian town of Amuda in Hasakeh province on October 24, 2019, as part of a joint patrol between Russian forces and Syrian Kurdish Asayish internal security forces near the border with Turkey. (Photo credit: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
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Syria cracked down on Wagner mercenaries fighting on its territory in cooperation with the Russian military to stop Wagner's June 23-24 rebellion from spreading, Reuters reported on July 7, citing six undisclosed sources.

The Syrian authorities blocked communications and summoned several mercenary commanders to a Russian military base as Wagner fighters were forced to sign new contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry and leave Syria, Reuters wrote.

According to the news agency, Wagner fielded between 250 and 450 members in Syria, which is a tenth of the total Russian military strength in the country.

Moscow deployed its troops to Syria in 2015, providing support to dictator Bashar al-Assad against multiple anti-government forces. Damascus has been supportive of the Kremlin during the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, even recognizing the "independence" of the Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

Prigozhin launched a rebellion against the Russian government on June 23 after accusing Russian troops of attacking the mercenaries. Wagner troops occupied Rostov and marched towards Moscow, only to abruptly end the rebellion less than 24 hours after its start.

As a result of an agreement between Wagner's leader and the Kremlin, Prigozhin and his mercenaries were allowed to leave for Belarus.

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