Update 11:13a.m.: Reuters, citing a “U.S. official,” reported Wednesday morning that four American officials were killed and three were wounded in the bombing. A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition confirmed that American troops were killed in the incident but did not specify as to the number of casualties.
The Islamic State claimed credit Wednesday for a suicide bombing that left at least two U.S. troops dead in the coalition-controlled city of Manbij in northern Syria.
The blast, which ISIS claimed credit for on their official propaganda website Amaq, killed at least nineteen people in total, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The ISIS propaganda website indicated that a single suicide bomber wearing a bomb vest targeted a patrol of U.S.-led coalition forces. It’s the first time ISIS has claimed credit for an attack on coalition forces since President Trump announced all U.S. troops would withdraw from Syria.
“The President has been fully briefed and we will continue to monitor the ongoing situation in Syria,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
The decision to withdraw from Syria, which Trump reportedly made last month during a call with the Turkish president, led to the resignation of former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Critics of the decision have pointed out that while ISIS has been cleared from the vast majority of its former territorial holdings, roughly 30,000 fighters remain in the region.
The withdrawal has also unnerved America’s Kurdish allies, who will likely come under threat from Turkey once U.S. forces depart.
National security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have remained vague when questioned about the timeline of troop withdrawal but reports suggest initial preparations for departure began last week.