US Forces Attacked by Islamic State in Syria
Islamic State Suicide Bomber Targets US-Kurdish Convoy in Northern Syria
An Islamic State suicide bomber attacked a a US-Kurdish convoy in northern Syria, Monday. This is the second major attack against US forces in Syria in less than a week.
The Islamic State bomber attacked the US-Kurdish convoy at a checkpoint outside the town of al-Shaddadi (also written Shaddadeh), Hassakeh province.
Conflicting Statements on Casualties After al-Shaddadi Attack
CJTF-OIR Spokesman US Army Col. Sean Ryan told reporters that there had been no casualties.
Col. Ryan said: “We can confirm a combined U.S. and Syrian partner force convoy was involved. We will continue to review the situation and provide updates as appropriate.”
Kurdish Hawar news agency, ANHA, initially said that two Kurdish fighters had sustained minor wounds in the attack. Latest reports from ANHA state that 3 people have been wounded, including one US soldier. ANHA also reported that the explosion was caused by a booby-trapped vehicle.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that five people had been killed in the attack and several others wounded.
Islamic State Claim Responsibility for al-Shaddadi Attack
The Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) claimed responsibility for the attack via its Aamaq news agency.
Videos of the attack show smoke rising from a vehicle. It is speculated that this may have been an armoured vehicle belonging to the Syrian Kurdish militia.
This latest attack comes only days after an Islamic State suicide bomber killed 19 people, including two US servicemen and two American civilians, in the northern Syrian town of Manbij. The Manbij bombing was the deadliest assault on US forces in Syria since American forces deployed to the country in 2015.
Syrian Democratic Forces’ Statement on al-Shaddadi Bomb Attack
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) issued a statement about the incident:
Our forces continue their campaign to liberate Deir ez-Zor countryside, deal IS mercenaries harsh blows and advance daily. As it is being eradicated from the area, the terrorist organization resorts to launch suicide attacks using car bombs to obstruct this campaign.
While a joint patrol between our forces and a unit of the International Coalition was on a task on a highway in al-Shaddadi city on January 21st, 2019, the terrorist organization attempted to launch a suicide attack with a booby-trapped vehicle driven by a suicide bomber to target the patrol. Our forces dealt with it successfully and took the necessary procedures to avoid the attack.
The terrorist attack that targeted the joint patrol of our forces and the International Coalition was foiled due to our forces’ vigilance, and did not achieve its goals as its losses were limited to the financial only.
These terrorist attacks will not undermine our determination to complete the task, including the liberation of our areas and the elimination of the dormant cells that would ensure the disappearance of the terrorist organization again with various names.
It is believed that the Islamic State may be receiving Turkish support in its campaign against the Kurds. Turkey is keen to take control of Manbij. Meanwhile, the far-left US media is using the incident to attack US President Trump’s decision to pull US forces out of Syria.
Sources: Associated Press; ANHA.
Image: aftermath of the Islamic State attack at al-Shadadi, northern Syria (ANHA, 2019).