Published: Wed, January 16, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

American troops killed in blast claimed by Islamic State

American troops killed in blast claimed by Islamic State

Four U.S. soldiers were killed and three others wounded in the blast, a U.S. official told Reuters.

The death toll in an attack on US and coalition troops in the northern Syrian town of Manbij is rising, with the bombing raising questions about what happens once USA forces pull out for good.

The U.S. military announced Friday that it has begun withdrawing equipment from Syria but declined to provide details, leaving it unclear whether any materiel has been pulled out of the Manbij area.

Statements published by the Islamic State's unofficial news agency, Amaq, said the attacker used an explosives-laden vest to target coalition forces and that nine American troops were killed or injured.

A blast struck near a US-led coalition patrol in Syria's northern Manbij on Wednesday, a witness and the Manbij Military Council militia that holds the town said.

Sharfan Darwish, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Manbij Military Council (MMC), said the blast took place on a crowded street.

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

Trump has been briefed on Wednesday's incident, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said in a statement. It is likely the deadliest attack on USA forces since they were inserted in 2015 under President Barack Obama to roll back ISIS forces. It's unclear whether it was a US -operated helicopter, as Dalati claimed on Twitter, or one operated by an ally.

A witness in the city said the attack had targeted a restaurant where United States personnel were meeting members of the local militia that Washington backs there.

The suicide attack in Manbij is just the latest hard truth assessment on how the US remains locked in a brutal fight against a formidable enemy, despite Trump's pronouncements that ISIS' reign of terror is all but over.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a deadly explosion that killed U.S. service members in the Syrian city of Manbij on Wednesday.

Hours after the attack, Vice President Mike Pence told diplomats during a speech that the ISIS caliphate "has crumbled and ISIS has been defeated".

Witnesses at the scene said the explosion rocked a market area near the center of Manbij.

Dozens of US forces are based just outside of Manbij, which has been a flashpoint between USA -backed Kurdish militias and Turkey.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters four USA soldiers were killed.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Syria, which took the lives of at least 20 people.

Local reports suggested the soldiers were inside the restaurant when a bomber detonated their device outside.

A witness told Reuters news agency that the USA troops were at the restaurant to meet members of the local Manbij Military Council (MMC).

Manbij is a Kurdish-controlled city and a known base of operations for US troops.

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