"As far as I know, five US servicemen died during the attack." - President of Turkey, Erdogan
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
This is how Russian TV is reporting the Syria attack.
Turkish President Erdogan believes the attack is a desperate attempt by ISIS to delay the American withdrawal from Syria, and if America changes course then ISIS will win.
Russian experts believe however that this attack will fail to change Trump's plans and that withdrawal will continue.
At least 20 were victims of an explosion in Manbij, a city in northern Syria. There were five US servicemen among them. This data was given by the president of Turkey.
The Pentagon made a correction: among the victims were two American soldiers and two American civilians who worked for the agency. Who is behind the attack and why did the US military become the target?
Let's listen to Anna Voronina's report.
It was a usual weekday afternoon in the busy street of Manbij. After several seconds, the surveillance camera catches a bright flash. Several people fell onto the ground. Later it became known not only civilians became victims but American soldiers as well.
“Alliance soldiers, including American soldiers, were the target of the attack. They were near the King's Palace restaurant which is considered one of the best in town. The soldiers were on a foot patrol. They stopped near the entrance to talk to people. A person in civilian clothes approached to them. It was a terrorist in a suicide vest who blew himself up near them.”
Locals told journalists that the restaurant was popular among American soldiers. They used to come by for a bite during patrols. One could meet them there practically every day.
The news of the deaths of the soldiers was instantly spread by American news channels. However, none of them voiced the exact number of victims. The Pentagon sources told journalists that four soldiers died.
But the president of Turkey has different information.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan:
"As far as I know, five US servicemen died during the attack. In total, there were 20 victims. ISIS is responsible for the attack. Apparently, they want this event to influence Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria. It can influence, but if it does, it will mean that ISIS will win."
Turkey is paying special attention to Manbij. For two years the city was under Kurds' control. Only US support to the Kurds prevented a direct confrontation. After Trump announced the withdrawal of troops, Turkey began drawing forces to the Syrian border.
The Kurds decided to give northern regions of the Arabian Republic under control of Damascus. The capital supported the idea. Government forces soon arrived in the city. This is when ISIS decided to remind of themselves.
Boris Rozhin, Terrorism expert:
"By doing this, ISIS made it clear they haven't been defeated, that Trump's announcement that the US won wasn't true.
Conspiracy-wise, it indicates that the US continues to maintain its ties with a part of ISIS and they use them for operations under a foreign flag to achieve their goals in Syria. There's no rock-solid proof but there's indirect evidence that such ties take place."
Experts say there'll be a battle in the US government because the Manjib attack and victims among the American soldiers can play both into the hands of those who oppose the decision to withdraw troops from Syria and those who support the idea of returning the American soldiers home.
Ivan Konovalov, military expert:
"The supporters will say: "our soldiers died, we need to leave, we don't want any more victims" when the opposers will say "how can we leave when it's clear that we haven't defeated the terrorists, we should finish them first".
I'm sure this is the issue swords are crossed over and the decision whether they should leave or not is being closely considered. The explosion made the USA's position unclear. The decision on the withdrawal of troops will become even more complicated."
However, the majority of experts think that Trump won't change his mind.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
Anyone is free to republish, copy, and redistribute the text in this content (but not the images or videos) in any medium or format, with the right to remix, transform, and build upon it, even commercially, as long as they provide a backlink and credit to Russia Insider. It is not necessary to notify Russia Insider. Licensed Creative Commons