U.S.-Backed Forces in Syria Arrest Suspects in Attack That Killed 4 Americans – News

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ERBIL, Iraq — American-backed forces in northern Syria have captured a gaggle suspected of organizing a bomb assault that killed 4 Individuals and quite a lot of allied Syrian militia fighters in January, a spokesman for the native forces stated on Tuesday.

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The spokesman, Mustafa Bali, wrote on Twitter that his group, the Syrian Democratic Forces, had used “technical surveillance” to search out and arrest the suspects.

The bombing, on Jan. 16, was the deadliest assault on Individuals in Syria since Washington started a army marketing campaign in opposition to the jihadists of the Islamic State in 2014, and it occurred in an space the USA had thought-about protected. Figuring out these concerned might assist clarify how the jihadists have been in a position to strike removed from their final stronghold.

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The arrests have been first reported by Reuters. A United States army official confirmed that Syrian allies had captured a small variety of folks linked to the assault in latest days however offered no additional element.

Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the American-led army coalition in opposition to the Islamic State, declined to remark, citing in an e-mail a seamless investigation.

Within the assault, a suicide bomber entered a popular restaurant in the Syrian town of Manbij where American military personnel had stopped during a patrol to eat with their local Syrian allies.

The Americans killed were a military linguist who worked with the National Security Agency, a member of the Army Special Forces, a former Navy SEAL who did intelligence work for a Pentagon agency and an Arabic interpreter who worked for a private defense contractor.

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At least 11 Syrians were also killed, most of them members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led militia that has been working with the United States to fight the Islamic State.

Mr. Bali did not say how many suspects there were, or when or how they had been arrested.

The arrests come at a critical juncture for the future of the United States presence in eastern Syria.

President Trump has said that he wants to withdraw the roughly 2,000 American troops posted there, although that plan has been repeatedly revised, leaving American allies and even many United States officials confused about what Washington’s policy is. Recently, the Trump administration has said that it is planning to leave 400 troops in Syria to continue working with American allies on the ground and to stop Iran and its allies from making inroads in the area.

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It remains to be seen whether the American withdrawal will accelerate after the defeat of the Islamic State’s last patch of territory. On Tuesday, officials from the Syrian Democratic Forces said the jihadists’ territory had been reduced to a small patch of land alongside the Euphrates River close to the village of Baghuz.

However the battle there has lasted for much longer than predicted, and tens of 1000’s of fighters and civilians have surrendered because the jihadists’ territory has dwindled. Many of the males are in jail and many of the girls and kids are in overcrowded refugee camps.

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