ISIS Attack in Syria Kills 4 American Troops, Wounds 3

Mike Pence

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham delivered a forceful statement Wednesday faulting President Trump for having "set in motion" enthusiasm by the enemy in Syria that resulted in the deadly attack there that killed US forces.

It may have been the deadliest attack against USA forces in Syria yet: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest amid global forces on a routine patrol in the northern town of Manbij Wednesday.

The blast occurred near a restaurant where coalition forces were said to be meeting with members of the Kurdish-led Manbij Military Council, which has controlled the town since US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, took it from ISIS in 2016.

The security zones should serve as protection for the Syrian Kurds, who fear a Turkish invasion after Trump announced his decision to withdraw all 2,000 USA troops from Syria.

We've "defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there", Trump tweeted last month.

Pence did not mention the attack in his address to 184 chiefs of USA diplomatic missions who gather annually in Washington from around the world to discuss foreign policy strategy.

His press secretary Alyssa Farah tweeted Wednesday morning that he had been briefed and that he and President Donald Trump were "monitoring the situation". Ankara has been arguing the US-backed Kurds are unwilling or unable to maintain stability and security in the areas they control in Syria, and is eager to replace them with its own proxies.

The explosion, reportedly caused by a suicide bomber, hit near the main market in the northern city of Manbij, witnesses told Reuters.

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The president eventually said the pullout would be more gradual, but on Friday, a military official said the US-led military coalition had begun the process of withdrawing the troops from Syria.

"We'll stay in the region and we'll stay in the fight to ensure that ISIS does not rear its ugly head again", Pence told a gathering in Washington of USA ambassadors stationed around the world using an alternate acronym for the terrorist group.

A Pentagon spokeswoman said that only two United States troops had previously been killed in action in Syria. "We are still gathering information and will share additional details at a later time".

"Trump wants to implement these safe regions through cooperation with Turkey". "We'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon". "Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms".

Over time, the US vehicle patrols have included "dismounted" patrols with American forces in the city on foot, which is what the USA service members who were killed on Wednesday were doing at the time of the explosion.

The people familiar with the conversation described it as sobering, and said it broke through to Trump in a way his conversations with national security officials in Washington had not. You make people we're trying to help wonder about us.

"I would hope the President would look long at hard at where he's headed in Syria", Graham said.

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