Airman Arrested in Connection with Attack on US Base in Syria that Injured 4 Troops

U.S. military convoy conducting a patrol outside Manbij, Syria.
A group of children gather around a U.S. military convoy conducting a patrol in their village outside Manbij, Syria, July 14, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Timothy R. Koster)

A U.S. airman has been arrested and may face charges in connection with an attack on a base in Syria in April that left four American service members injured, the Air Force confirmed Tuesday.

Ann Stefanek, a spokeswoman for the service, told in an emailed statement that an arrest had been made in connection with the incident, which occurred at the base known as Green Village.

"As part of an ongoing investigation, on June 16, an airman was taken into custody stateside in conjunction with the attack in Green Village, Syria," Stefanek said. "After reviewing the information in the investigation, the airman's commander made the decision to place him in pretrial confinement."

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Military investigators have been looking into what occurred at Green Village, a small U.S. base in Syria just north of the Euphrates River, after explosions hit two buildings inside the base walls on April 7.

As a result of the blast, four service members were treated for "minor injuries and possible traumatic brain injuries," officials said in a statement at the time. The four have since been released.

While investigators originally thought the attack was the result of indirect fire to the base, a week later U.S. Central Command issued a statement clarifying it was caused by "the deliberate placement of explosive charges by an unidentified individual(s) at an ammunition holding area and shower facility."

The Army's Criminal Investigation Division and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations began following tips that led to the arrest last week.

Further details on the identity of the airman were not made available by the Department of the Air Force and no charges have been filed.

"We won't release the individual's name unless charges are preferred," Stefanek said. "It is too early in the process for a charge sheet. It will be available if charges are preferred."

There are approximately 1,000 U.S. troops and special operators in the country to assist the Syrian Democratic Forces.

-- Thomas Novelly can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.

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