A terrorist bombing in Manbij, Syria, caused many casualties, including U.S. troops. ISIS-affiliated al-Amaq Agency has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Manbij, which is 20 miles from the Turkish border in northern Syria, has troops from multiple nations and groups regularly on the streets. The restaurant where the bombing took place was reported the venue for a meeting between U.S., French, and Kurdish troops at the time of the attack.
BREAKING: @NBCNews' @RichardEngel reports American forces are among the casualties after an explosion in Manbij, Syria. A senior Kurdish security official tells NBC the forces were on foot in the center of the city when they were approached by a suicide bomber, claimed by ISIS.
— Willie Geist (@WillieGeist) January 16, 2019
Here is a video of the attack. Warning: Graphic.
— Mutlu Civiroglu (@mutludc) January 16, 2019
Terrorism in general doesn’t make sense, but this attack seems especially strange. Why would ISIS plan an attack now when the United States is close to leaving the region?
National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have indicated the troop withdrawal will happen more slowly and methodically than President Trump initially indicated when he announced the move. But this attack is not going to prompt our exit to speed up. If anything, it gives the President justification to keep troops in Syria against the wishes of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Not that he needs it, but apparently he thinks he does.
It’s futile to try to make sense of any acts of terrorism, or more specifically, the inhumane motivations for committing them. But they usually serve a purpose, at least in the eyes of the terrorists. This one seems out of place.