ISIS claims deadly suicide attack on Kurdish-US convoy in Syria

An image shows the scene of a suicide car bomb attack on a military convoy in Syria’s northeastern Hasakeh province on January 21, 2019.

:: An ISIS-claimed suicide car bomb attack on a military convoy in northeastern Syria killed on Monday five members of a Kurdish-led force accompanying US troops in an anti-extremist coalition, a monitor said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five fighters from the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were killed in the attack, which occurred on a road in Hasakeh province.

“A suicide attacker driving a bomb-laden car targeted a convoy of American forces accompanied by the SDF on the Hasakeh-Shadadi road,” the Observatory said.

The head of the Britain-based Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, said the attacker’s vehicle hit an SDF vehicle.

Shadadi lies to the south of Hasakeh, capital of the eponymous province, which has been relatively spared by the war that erupted in Syria nearly eight years ago.

The attack, on which there was no immediate comment from the coalition, came less than a week after another attack on the US-led force and its local partners in the strategic city of Manbij.

Four Americans — two members of the military, a Pentagon civilian and a contractor — were killed in a blast that targeted a restaurant in the city center on January 16.

The Manbij attack cost Washington its worst combat losses since it deployed in the war-torn country to combat ISIS.

Ten civilians were also killed in the attack, as well as five fighters from the local force that was patrolling the city alongside the coalition.

The attacks targeting the US-led coalition and its allies on the ground come a month after US President Donald Trump’s shock announcement that he had ordered a complete troop pullout from Syria.

Trump and other senior US officials have since sent mixed messages about the pace and scope of the withdrawal.

Turkey has repeatedly urged the Americans to make way for its own military plans in northern Syria, where the beleaguered Kurds are increasingly turning to the regime and its Russian sponsor for support.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five fighters from the Kurdish-dominated SDF were killed in the attack.

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