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Syria: Suicide bombing kills US-led coalition soldiers in Manbij January 16

Suicide bombing attack kills at least 16 people, including multiple US-led coalition soldiers, in Manbij (Aleppo province) January 16; Islamic State (IS) claims responsibility for attack

16 Jan 03:11 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 1/16/2019, 12:00 AM until 1/23/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Damascus). COUNTRY/REGION Manbij

Event

A suicide bombing attack killed at least 16 people, including multiple US-led coalition soldiers and members of allied local forces, at a restaurant in Manbij (Aleppo province) on Wednesday, January 16. The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack. The death toll may rise over the coming hours. Similar IS attacks targeting US-led coalition troops and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters are possible in northern Syria over the near term.

Context

The attack notably comes after US President Donald Trump announced the US's intent to withdraw American troops from Syria. The US Department of Defense and White House staff confirmed the decision, though it is unclear how many troops, if any, will remain in the northeastern part of the country and how long the withdrawal process will take.

The SDF is a US-backed umbrella group of militias, led by the primarily Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), and a belligerent in the Syrian Civil War. The SDF has ousted IS from several areas formerly under its control, notably including Raqqa, Al-Tabqah, and Manbij. IS has lost most of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria after suffering major military defeats following its 2014 offensive.

To date, the Syrian Civil War - which began in 2011 - involves many parties, including the Syrian government, the Russian government, the Iranian government, the Turkish government, a US-led coalition, and numerous armed groups on the ground (including the Islamic State) with competing goals.

Advice

Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some banning travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to Syria.

 

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