The Syrian authorities, together with the Russian military command, took a number of operational measures to block the Wagner PMC militants in Syria during Prigozhin's rebellion.
According to Ukrinform, Reuters reports this with reference to informed sources.
The previously unreported measures included blocking phone lines, summoning about a dozen PMC commanders to a Russian military base, and ordering mercenaries to sign new contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry or leave Syria immediately.
According to two Syrian sources, the Syrian authorities took such steps because of fears that Russia, a key military partner of the Assad regime, was being "distracted by events at home."
There are between 250 and 450 people belonging to the terrorist Russian PMC on the territory of Syria, according to Syrian sources. There is no official data on the number of Wagnerites in the country.
The Wagner group was deployed by Russia in Syria in 2015 along with the deployment of military forces to help Bashar al-Assad in the war against the rebels.
According to a high-ranking Syrian Republican Guard officer and an informed source, the Syrian military privately expressed concern about the events in Russia on June 23-24 and fears that Prigozhin's mutiny would negate Russia's presence in the country.
The Syrian government, the Russian Defense Ministry, and the Wagner PMC did not respond to requests for comment on these measures of influence, Reuters notes. Earlier, official Damascus also did not respond to Prigozhin's rebellion.
Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 08/07/2023