Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: The Battle of Khasham

The Battle of Khasham

The Battle of Khasham

The Battle of Khasham, which took place during the Syrian Civil War in February 2018, became a pivotal event within the broader conflict and drew significant international attention. The fight occurred in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate which resulted in US troops directly engaged with Russian forces, who were delivered a definitive loss.



The Battlespace 

The region of Khasham, located on the western banks of the Euphrates River, holds a strategic advantage due to its oil and gas fields. The control over the Deir ez-Zor Governorate was divided between the US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to the east and Russian-backed pro-government forces to the west. These opposing forces were separated by the Euphrates River which was designated as a "deconfliction" line to avoid direct engagement between the US and Russia.



The Inciting Incident 

The friction point that led to this direct engagement began on February 7, 2018. An estimated force of 500 fighters, comprising pro-Syrian government forces and Russian private military contractors from the Wagner Group, launched an assault on the SDF positions near Khasham. Their objective was to seize the lucrative oil and gas fields under SDF control which they planned to do with tanks and artillery, aiming for a swift and decisive victory.


Unfortunately for them, American military forces were embedded with the SDF as part of the US-led coalition fighting against ISIS in the region. At the time, the DoD maintained a significant presence in the region, primarily to fight ISIS and to offer tactical support to the SDF. As the attacking force breached the "deconfliction" line and posed a direct threat to the US forces embedded with the SDF, this act marked the beginning of direct involvement of US forces against the attackers.



The TIC 

US ground forces, which numbered ~40 personnel, swiftly responded to the threat by calling in air support which led to a punishing barrage of airstrikes and artillery fire, causing severe casualties among the attacking forces and effectively forcing them into a retreat. The severity of the US response served as a clear message that any threat to their forces would be met with decisive action, even if it meant killing Russians.


The aftermath of the Battle of Khasham exposed not only the extensive involvement of Russian private military contractors in Syria, but their tactical ineptitude and inability to compete with a small contingent that they outnumbered by ~450 troops. The presence of the Wagner Group, a Russian paramilitary organization known for its close ties to the Russian state, further complicated the geopolitical implications of this battle.




Saved Rounds 

The Battle of Khasham holds a distinctive place in the history of the Syrian Civil War as it was a rare occasion where US and Russian forces directly clashed on the battlefield. This incident highlighted the complex nature of the conflict, with its web of shifting alliances and the blurred lines between state and non-state actors. Ultimately, the battle serves as a stark reminder of the disparity in tactical proficiency of US and Russian forces engaged in direct combat.



Belonging to the Tribe

The Warrior Caste - our tribe. It’s a faded memory, but I can still feel it. Signing my proverbial (maybe more like “literal”) life away in front of that shit-eating recruiter, full of nothi...

Read more