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A Month After Trump Declared Victory in Syria, US Soldiers Killed

As many as 4 US service members may have been killed in suicide bomber attack
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2019 10:40 AM CST
This frame grab from video shows a damaged restaurant where an explosion occurred in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday.   (ANHA via AP)
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(Newser) – It may have been the deadliest attack against US forces in Syria yet: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest amid international forces on a routine patrol in the northern town of Manbij Wednesday. It's not yet clear how many US service members were killed; per Bloomberg, the Trump administration said initial reports indicated four were killed and three were injured, but reports are all over the place in terms of how many people were killed in total, and various reports cite anywhere from two to three to four US soldiers killed. The US-led coalition, Operation Inherent Resolve, hasn't officially announced a number. Until now, just two US service members have been killed in action in Syria since the campaign there began in 2014, per CNN.

The attack, for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility, comes less than a month after President Trump declared, "We have defeated ISIS in Syria." It could complicate the president's plans to pull all 2,000 US troops from the country. The AP reports the attack came days after the US started withdrawing, pulling equipment out of Syria and into neighboring Iraq. But after Trump's announcement upset allies and surprised even aides close to the president, leading Jim Mattis to resign as secretary of defense, the president has suggested the withdrawal of forces may not be as abrupt as initially suggested. (Read more Syria stories.)

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