2019 Manbij bombing
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|Part of the Eastern Syrian insurgency and the American-led intervention in the Syrian Civil War|
|Location||Manbij, Aleppo Governorate, Syria|
|Date||16 January 2019|
|Target||American military personnel|
|Injured||3 US servicemen|
|Perpetrators||Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant|
In the Syrian Civil War, the city of Manbij was taken by the Free Syrian Army in 2012, and then by ISIS in 2014. In 2016, the city was taken by the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in the Manbij offensive.
The Palace of the Princes restaurant was popular with Americans, located on a crowded downtown street in Manbij. U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jeanne Shaheen ate there when they visited Syria in July 2018.
Several American military personnel were inside the Palace of Princes restaurant when a suicide bomber triggered an explosion outside the restaurant around midday on Wednesday, 16 January 2019. The bomber mixed into a crowd of people visiting a nearby vegetable market and detonated his explosive vest near the restaurant entrance, igniting a fireball that left the dead and wounded scattered in the street. Rescue workers rushed the wounded to the hospital, and military helicopters landed on a nearby soccer field to take the dead and wounded Americans.
The U.S. Department of Defense released a statement on 18 January 2019, identifying their three employees: a soldier, a sailor, and an intelligence expert. Defense contractor Valiant Integrated Services identified one of their employees as the fourth American killed. The four deceased Americans were:
- Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida. Farmer was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
- Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent, 35, of upstate New York. Kent was assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, based at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.
- DOD civilian intelligence officer Scott A. Wirtz of St. Louis, Missouri. Wirtz was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency as an operations support specialist.
- Civilian contractor Ghadir Taher of East Point, Georgia. Taher worked for Valiant Integrated Services as an interpreter and cook for U.S. troops in Syria.
The total death toll is believed to be 19, including 15 local SDF fighters. Three other American servicemen were also injured. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility.
A second joint convoy of U.S. and allied Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria was hit in al-Hasakah 5 days later, there were no casualties, with two Kurdish fighters were lightly wounded in the blast.
- "4 members of the Coalition, 15 of the civilians and local members die in the first bombing of its kind by a suicide bomber targeting the Coalition since it entered Syria". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
- Jenan Moussa; Harald Doornbos (31 May 2018). "The End of the World Will Start Here in Manbij". The New York Times.
- Ben Hubbard; Eric Schmitt (17 January 2019). "A Favorite Restaurant in Syria Led ISIS to Americans". The New York Times.
- Bacon, John (16 January 2019). "Suicide bomber kills four U.S. citizens in Syrian blast; ISIS claims responsibility". USAToday.
- "DOD Identifies Three Operation Inherent Resolve Casualties". U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. 18 January 2019.
- William Branigin; Katie Mettler; Missy Ryan (18 January 2019). "Americans slain in Syria attack: A Green Beret, a former SEAL and two language specialists". The Washington Post.
- Cohen, Howard (18 January 2019). "South Florida soldier is among the four Americans killed in Syria suicide bombing". Miami Herald.
- Santistevan, Ryan (18 January 2019). "Dutchess sailor killed in Syria caring, accomplished". Poughkeepsie Journal.
- Nassim Benchaabane; David Hunn (20 January 2019). "'The ultimate hero': Civilian from St. Louis among dead in Syrian suicide bombing". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Redmon, Jeremy (18 January 2019). "East Point woman among 19 killed in suicide bombing in Syria". Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Zachary Cohen, Veronica Stracqualursi and Kevin Liptak (17 January 2019). "US service members killed in ISIS-claimed attack in Syria". CNN.
- Bacon, John (16 January 2019). "Suicide bomber kills four U.S. citizens in Syrian blast; ISIS claims responsibility". USA Today.
- Stewart, Ian (19 January 2019). "Trump Travels To Dover AFB For Dignified Transfer Of 4 Americans Killed In Syria". NPR.
- "ISIL targets joint US-Kurdish convoy in northeastern Syria". Al Jazeera. 21 January 2019.