US service members killed in Manbij explosion

WASHINGTON (AA): U.S. service members were killed in an apparent suicide attack in Manbij, Syria on Wednesday, according to the spokesman for the international anti-Daesh coalition.

Col. Sean Ryan said an as-yet unknown number of soldiers were “killed during an explosion while conducting a routine patrol,” which reportedly killed several civilians. 

“We are still gathering information and will share additional details at a later time,” said Ryan.

Initial reports suggested four Americans may have been killed. 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. The PYD/YPG is its Syrian branch. The attack came after U.S. President Donald 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,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told CBS News.