Rare Attack in Syria Kills US Service Member

Explosion in northern Syria also killed another member of the US-led coalition
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 30, 2018 10:47 AM CDT
US Troop Killed in Surprise Syrian Bomb Attack
In this picture taken Thursday, a fighter from the US-backed Syrian Manbij Military Council looks through his binoculars to Turkish-backed fighters' positions at the front line of Halawanji village, north of Manbij in Syria.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

A roadside bomb in northern Syria killed two coalition personnel, including an American, and wounded five others in a rare attack since the US-led coalition sent troops into the war-torn country, a US defense official said Friday. The military didn't say where the attack took place, but it came hours after a Syrian official said a roadside bomb exploded in the tense, mixed Arab-Kurdish town of Manbij not far from the border with Turkey, per the AP. A US military statement said the attack happened Thursday night and that the wounded were being evacuated. A DOD official in DC said one of the two killed was an American service member and the other was of another nationality that the official wouldn't specify. No other information on the American was immediately available.

Earlier Friday, US military rep Col. Ryan Dillon couldn't yet say who was behind the attack. "We have our initial assessment and thoughts ... but we won't provide [them] until [an] investigation is complete," he said. Dillon added the coalition has had other fatalities in Syria over the past three years, though "perhaps by different means." The head of the Manbij Military Council, an Arab-Kurdish group backed by the US, said the bomb went off around midnight hundreds of yards from a security headquarters that houses the council. The town has seen small explosions, protests, and an assassination attempt on a council member in recent weeks. Local officials blame Turkey and other adversaries for trying to sow chaos in the town that was controlled by ISIS militants until the summer of 2016.

(Read more Syria stories.)

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