An unconfirmed number of US troops have been killed in a suicide bomb attack carried out by the Islamic State in Syria on Wednesday, the US military has said.
The attack occurred at a restaurant in Manbij’s main market.
ISIS-affiliated agency, AMAQ, said one of its militants detonated an explosive vest next to a US patrol in the Kurdish-held town.
A Kurdish news agency reported that three US soldiers, two local security officers and 13 civilians were killed, according to the BBC.
US forces are in Manbij to support Kurdish and Arab fighters, who have almost driven out the Islamic group from eastern Syria.
A witness was quoted to have said that US troops were at the restaurant to meet members of the local Manbij Military Council.
CCTV footage from a nearby shop showed fire engulfing several people standing on the corridor.
The Syrian Kurdish Hawar Agency reported that the US soldiers were evacuated from the area by helicopter.
It quoted the head of Manbij’s health committee as saying that 18 people were killed, including three of the soldiers and, another 18 wounded.
Later, a spokesperson for the US-led multinational coalition against IS tweeted: “U.S. service members were killed during an explosion while conducting a routine patrol in Syria today.”
“We are still gathering information and will share additional details at a later time.”
Reuters later quoted a US official as saying that four soldiers were killed and three injured.
US President, Donald Trump, had last month announced that the country would begin withdrawal of all its 2,000 troops from Syria, claiming ISIS had been “defeated.”