Four Troops, Civilian Workers Killed, Three Wounded in Syria Bombing

Erdogan said that he has concerns about possible NATO military action in Libya but he has not flatly opposed such a mission.

Erdogan Turkey Considering Setting Up ‘Safe Zones’ for Kurds in Syria AP Burhan Ozbilici15 Jan 2019

A number of USA troops have been killed in a reported suicide bomb attack in Syria claimed by the Islamic State group, the U.S. military says.

An image grab taken from a video obtained by AFPTV on 16 January 2019 shows U.S. troops gathered at the scene of a suicide attack in the northern Syrian town of Manbij.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group initially said 16 people had been killed in all, including two Americans.

A USA official who declined to be named said four United States troops had been killed and three wounded in Wednesday's blast. A suicide bomber struck a coalition patrol in Manbij this morning, killing multiple American troops. He said the troops would begin coming home "now".

As Turkey continued to issue threats against the Kurds, the U.S. also sought to ease tensions by carrying out joint U.S. -Turkey patrols to the north of Manbij.

The explosion comes shortly after President Trump announced in December that the USA would withdraw forces from Syria.

However, Turkey regards the Kurdish fighters as terrorists and many predict a Turkish incursion of the city following the removal. The coalition's military operation in Syria has been approved neither by Damascus nor by the UN.

Others disagree, claiming that the attack proves that now is not the appropriate time for a US withdrawal. Other videos showed helicopters flying over the area reportedly to pick up victims.

Graham was among those who appear to have been able to persuade Trump to slow down the announced withdrawal of about 2,000 us forces there.

On Monday, Erdogan had a telephone conversation with Trump to ease tensions after the USA leader threatened to "devastate" the Turkish economy if Ankara attacks Kurdish forces in Syria, and called for a "safe zone".

A Kurdish news agency said that at least 10 people were injured in the attack, which it said occurred at a popular restaurant.

On Wednesday, a witness in Manbij said the attack had targeted a restaurant where American military personnel were meeting members of the local militia that Washington backs there. Although the coalition opposing ISIS tweeted about the attacks almost an hour before Pence's speech, a White House official claims that the administration had not "publicly confirmed the deaths at the time (Pence) spoke". Erdogan said five US forces were killed. Four U.S. soldiers were killed and three others wounded in the blast, a U.S. official told Reuters.

Photos and videos showed damage to a restaurant, vehicles and other nearby buildings. Shortly after the announcement, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis resigned due to differences between him and the administration.

"However, while plenty of Washington insiders will try to exploit their deaths to keep us in Syria indefinitely, this should stiffen the president's resolve to withdraw USA forces", said Macgregor.

Manbij is highly strategic: It is the main town on the westernmost edge of Syrian territory held by the USA -backed Syrian Kurds, running along the border with Turkey.

"Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions", he said on Twitter.

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