At least four U.S. soldiers were killed and three wounded in a blast on Wednesday in the Syrian town of Manbij, a U.S. official said. A war monitor said at least 16 had been killed in total. White House says U.S. President Donald Trump has been briefed on the situation.
A news site affiliated with Islamic State earlier issued a statement saying an attacker with a suicide vest had targeted a patrol of the U.S.-led coalition operating in Manbij.
Reuters could not independently verify a report by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that 16 people had been killed in the attack including two U.S. soldiers. The coalition could not be immediately reached for comment.
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Two witnesses described Wednesday’s blast to Reuters. The U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Manbij Military Council militia that controls the town said there was preliminary information that people had been injured in Wednesday’s attack.
Manbij has been held by U.S.-backed fighters allied to the Kurdish YPG militia since they took it from Islamic State in 2016. It is located near areas held by Russian-backed Syrian government forces and by anti-Assad fighters backed by Turkey.
One of the witnesses said there was a “heavy” presence of military aircraft over Manbij following the blast, which took place near a vegetable market.