ISIS is taking credit for a bombing that killed four US servicemen in Syria. Three others were wounded.
The servicemen had gone to a small restaurant to meet with some of their counterparts in Syria when the bomb went off. It has not yet been confirmed that ISIS was behind the attack. They take credit for every terror attack anywhere, so their claims have to be taken with a large grain of salt. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said 16 people had been killed in all.
The United States is in the process of withdrawing from Syria but are still able to attack ISIS from locations inside Iraq.
Operation Inherent Resolve posted about the attack, confirming U.S. fatalities, “U.S. service members were killed during an explosion while conducting a routine patrol in Syria today. We are still gathering information and will share additional details at a later time.”
The attack comes about a month after President Trump announced he was ordering U.S. troops out of Syria, having completed their main goal of abolishing the ISIS caliphate, though pockets of ISIS fighters remain in control of small amounts of territory in Syria. Trump’s decision has been controversial, prompting the resignation/firing of Secretary of Defense James Mattis in December and causing liberal critics of “endless wars” to demand the U.S. stay in Syria, even though Trump has committed to keeping U.S. troops in neighboring Iraq in part to intervene in Syria when necessary.
Photos and videos of the attack and its aftermath were posted online. (Warning: graphic.)
Minbicteki patlama bir intihar saldırısıdır. pic.twitter.com/zGJUWVbABD
— Deniz Fırtına (@DenizFrtna14) January 16, 2019
A local source confirms the video was taken in the heart of Manbij. He says the owner of bombed restaurant fled ISIS, opened a restaurant in Gaziantep & then returned to Manbij after it was captured by the SDF. https://t.co/Zi6YQidfB8
— Elizabeth Tsurkov (@Elizrael) January 16, 2019
In an explosion near a restaurant in Manbij’s busy market death and injuries reported. Unconfirmed reports about 2 American soldier also killed in the explosion @hawarnews #TwitterKurds pic.twitter.com/GNWevN5clh
— Mutlu Civiroglu (@mutludc) January 16, 2019
— Mete Sohtaoğlu (@metesohtaoglu) January 16, 2019
ISIS identifies the suicide attacker in Manbij, who reportedly caused Coalition casualties, as Abu Yasin al-Shami. Near Qasr Al-Omara restaurant. Claims 9 killed or injured. Says choppers were sent for rescue. pic.twitter.com/iAP2K41QPo
— Hassan Hassan (@hxhassan) January 16, 2019
In #Manbij 2 wks ago interviewed young Arab women who joined Manbij Military Council. Told me about watching women liberate their city from ISIS in 2016. & about convincing families to allow them to be part of protecting their city. A new generation. Waiting to see what comes. pic.twitter.com/UaoDmqC6Y7
— Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (@gaylelemmon) December 31, 2018