A man gestures at US military vehicles driving in the town of Darbasiya next to the Turkish border, Syria, April 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS/RODI SAID)
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.
The witness said a suicide attacker had targeted the patrol and the militia group said on Facebook that there was preliminary information of injuries. A war monitor said 16 people had been killed.
Four US soldiers were killed and three wounded in a blast on Wednesday in the Syrian town of Manbij, a US official said. The coalition said in a tweet it was still gathering information. The coalition, in its tweet, said its forces had conducted "a routine patrol in Syria" on Wednesday.
Amaq, a news site linked to Islamic State, said a suicide attacker with an explosive vest struck an international coalition patrol in the city on Wednesday.
Two witnesses described Wednesday's blast to Reuters. "An explosion hit near a restaurant, targeting the Americans, and there were some forces for the Manbij Military Council with them," one said. The US-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 US-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.
Photographs on a local Kurdish news site, which Reuters could not verify, showed two mutilated bodies, several other bodies lying on the ground with people gathered around them, damage to a building and vehicles, and blood smears on a wall.
US President Donald Trump has been briefed on the situation in Syria, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Wednesday after a blast struck near a US-led coalition patrol that a war monitor said killed 16 people.
"The president has been fully briefed and we will continue to monitor the ongoing situation in Syria," Sanders said in a statement, referring questions to the US Department of Defense.
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