Suicide Attack on US-Kurdish Convoy in Syria Kills 5 SDF Members

Vehicles of the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State group patrol the town of Rmelane in Syria's Hasakeh province on June 5, 2018. (AFP photo)
Vehicles of the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State group patrol the town of Rmelane in Syria's Hasakeh province on June 5, 2018. (AFP photo)

A suicide car bomb attack on a military convoy in northeastern Syria on Monday killed five members of a Kurdish-led force, accompanying U.S. troops in an anti-jihadist 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.

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

"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.

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 the Islamic State group.

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 U.S.-led coalition and its allies on the ground come a month after U.S. President Donald Trump's shock announcement that he had ordered a complete troop pullout from Syria.

Trump and other senior U.S. 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.

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