ISIS Suicide Bombing in Manbij, Syria
Islamic State Suicide Bomber Targets US and Coalition Forces in Manbij
CCTV video footage shows a group of men engulfed by an explosion as they stand outside a restaurant in Manbij, Syria. Initial unconfirmed casualty reports suggest that US military personnel and coalition forces may have been killed and injured in the attack.
At 12.38, Wednesday, 16 january 2019, an Islamic State suicide bomber targeted a restaurant known to be frequented by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). They were either meeting US servicemen, or a US patrol was nearby when the bomber detonated the device. Other information suggests that US, French and YPG (or Manbij Military Council) personnel had met at Qaser al-Omara restaurant.
Up to 4 US Soldiers Killed in Manbij Blast
Helicopters were filmed arriving at the scene shortly afterwards. Sources are reporting that 2 US servicemen have been killed and as many as 14 killed in total. As this goes to press, Reuters has stated that 4 US soldiers have been killed and three wounded.
Local sources say that the restaurant had been owned by a man who had fled Manbij when it was captured by ISIS. He had recently returned after Manbij was re-taken by the SDF.
Statement from Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman
Some hours later, the CJTF-OIR (Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Reesolve) Twitter account confirmed that “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.”
Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for CJTF-OIR, said in a statement that “CJTF-OIR is aware of open source reports regarding an explosion in Syria. Coalition forces conducted a routine patrol in Syria today. We are still gathering information and will share additional details at a later time.”
Did Turkey Supply Intelligence to ISIS Bomber?
Attention has been drawn to Turkey’s detailing of the restaurant’s SDF patronage. The Turkish @op_shield Twitter account for Operation Euphrates Shield specified the days on which US soldiers habituated the restaurant. Manbij is in northern Syria, close to the Turkish border.
Image: CCTV video footage believed to show the explosion in Manbij, Syria, as an ISIS suicide bomber detonates a device amongst a group of US and coalition forces.