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2 US troops killed in Manbij explosion

'We are still gathering information,' says US-led coalition of attack claimed by Daesh terrorist organization

  | 16.01.2019
2 US troops killed in Manbij explosion

By Kasim Ileri

WASHINGTON

At least four Americans were killed, and three others injured in an apparent suicide attack in Manbij, Syria, the Pentagon said Wednesday. 

U.S. Central Command said two service members died, as well as a Pentagon civilian and a contractor, while conducting a "local engagement." A defense official speaking on condition of anonymity said the contractor was working as an interpreter. 

All of the wounded Americans were service members, according to the command. 

An unknown number of local civilians were also killed and injured. 

The terrorist group Daesh has claimed responsibility for the bombing, which it said was carried out by a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest.

Manbij remains under the control of the PYD/YPG, the Syrian affiliate of the PKK terrorist organization. During its 30-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives. 

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in a statement he and President Donald Trump condemn Wednesday's attack "that claimed American lives and our hearts are with the loved ones of the fallen."

"Thanks to the courage of our Armed Forces, we have crushed the ISIS caliphate and devastated its capabilities," Pence said using another name for Daesh. "As we begin to bring our troops home, the American people can be assured, for the sake of our soldiers, their families, and our nation, we will never allow the remnants of ISIS to reestablish their evil and murderous caliphate – not now, not ever."

The attack came after Trump's surprise announcement last month of the withdrawal of American forces from Syria.

The pullout decision came during a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which the two leaders agreed on the need for more effective coordination over the civil war-torn country. 

On the attack, Trump has been "fully briefed and we will continue to monitor the ongoing situation in Syria," said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

*Servet Gunerigok contributed to the story 

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