Two US soldiers were killed and five others were wounded due to a ladmine that targeted their patrol at 1.00 am near the cemetery of Sheikh Aqeel in Manbej city on Thursday. SDF cordoned off the area immediately after the occurrence of the incident, which coincided with the landong of US helicopters to rescue the wounded and transport the bodies of the dead soldiers.
According to an Aleppo24, the explosion occured in the east side of Sheih Aqeel and it targeted a patrol whose activity were seen for the first time in the area. The latter is devoid of any military headquarters and the nearest SDF headquarter is 4 k away from it. The source also added that SDF raided some houses in search of any suspect. After that, they removed all proofs from the incident, including the vehicle.
This is the first time US soldiers in Syria are targeted by IEDs. All US soldiers who have so far been killed in Syria either died in battles or due to artillery shelling. Such an operation brings us back to the same tactic pursued by the Iraqi insurgency after the fall of Saddam Hussein who were ambushing US soldiers on the ground employing different tactics including IEDs. It should be pointed out that this incident occurred amidst reports that both Turkey and US are on the verge of reaching an agreement to hand over SDF-held Manbej to Turkish authority. Assad’s forces might also be one of the suspects considering their presence in Manbej as well. US accused Assad of ambushing its soldiers during the war in Iraq. However, Daesh is unlikely to be behind the attack though its sleeper cells have no real presence. If it was responsible of the operation, it would announce it to increase the morale of its soldiers amidst the setbacks it has suffered so far.