The US Department of Defense has briefed Congress on intelligence regarding suspected “directed-energy attacks” against US troops, with Russia considered a likely suspect, POLITICO reported on Thursday.
The Pentagon has been investigating similar incidents, including attacks on its personnel across the world, since last year, the news outlet said, citing four former national security officials directly involved in the probe. Earlier this year, the Defense Department informed two key groups of lawmakers of the probe.
The Pentagon’s probe claims the US military deployed in Syria sustained injuries as a result of the alleged attacks, with several servicemen having developed flu-like symptoms as a result of an incident in Syria last fall.
The alleged attacks prompted the Pentagon to launch an inquiry, with the officials believing Moscow was behind the incidents, POLITICO reported, noting that a formal attribution, however, can be rather complicated, as the symptoms related to directed-energy incidents could have other causes.
Another former national security official also told the outlet that, in one case, when a Marine was allegedly injured in Syria as a result of such an attack, a Pentagon investigation concluded that the symptoms were caused by food poisoning.
According to a member of Congress who was briefed on the incidents, the Pentagon believes that there is a similarity to acoustic attacks against US officials in Cuba in 2016-2017.
US diplomats in Cuba suffered a set of health problems, collectively described as the Havana syndrome, in 2016 and 2017.
Similar medical signs were reported among US diplomatic staffers in China in 2018. The US Department of State assumed the diplomats could have been exposed to some unidentified acoustic attack; however, it did not reach a definite conclusion on what exactly caused the syndrome.
Accusations against Russia emerged in US media outlets from time to time, with Moscow repeatedly rejecting all claims.