Less than a month after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the American forces that are deployed in the war-torn-country; the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide attack that claimed the lives of some 16 people, including four U.S. Service members. A Syrian source told TV7 that the extreme-Muslim suicide bomber approached a number of U.S.-backed militants next to a restaurant in the town of Manbij, which is known to host members of the SDF alliance. In a CCTV video that was published on Twitter, a group of people could be seen standing in-front of the restaurant before the deadly explosion.
The deadly attack immediately rekindled a debate about Washington’s decision to withdraw from Syria, after President Trump declared that the Islamic State was defeated. Among others, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham – during an unrelated confirmation hearing for Trump’s attorney general nominee – urged the President to think “long and hard” about his decision to pull out the American forces from the war-torn-country. In Graham’s words, “There was an attack today on a restaurant. I think it is the same restaurant I visited with Kurds and Arabs and others in Manbij Syria. To hold on to some representative government. And unfortunately, I believe, some American advisers were killed there. Every American wants our troops to come home, but I think all of us want to make sure that when they do come home, we are safe. So, I would hope the President would look long and hard of where he is headed in Syria. I know people are frustrated. But we are never going to be safe here unless we are willing to help people over there who will stand up against this radical ideology. And here is the good news. Very few fathers and mothers over there want to turn their daughters over to ISIS. Their sons over to ISIS. They just need our help. So, to those who lost their lives today in Syria, you are defending America in my view. To those in Syria who are trying to work together in providing the best and only hope for your country, I hope the president will look long and hard about what we are doing in Syria.” The town of Manbij has been held by U.S.-backed fighters allied to the Kurdish YPG militia since they conquered it from the Islamic State in 2016. It is located near areas held by Russian-backed Syrian government forces and by anti-Assad regime militias that backed by Turkey.
Meanwhile in Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan provided additional details on the terror attack and noted that he did not believe the deadly suicide bombing would impact U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria. “According to the information that I have, is news pointing toward that there are five U.S. soldiers and 20 died in total. IS has claimed responsibility for the attack and this may mean to affect the decision that the U.S., Mr. Trump has taken, but because I saw honorable Trump’s determination on this point, I do not think he will step back against this kind of terrorist attack,” Erdogan said.