US Troops Clash With Syria Locals at Government Checkpoint

Locals were throwing stones at US troops

A US military patrol came into conflict with Syrian locals at a government-controlled checkpoint in Qamishli, leading to US troops opening fire on and killing at least one Syrian civilian.

The US coalition is claiming they responded in “self-defense” in killing the Syrian, saying they had issued a series of warnings to the Syrians and that the US believes the troops were under small arms fire at the time. They promised an investigation in the future.

It is unusual for the US to send patrols out into northern Syria these days, as President Trump has ordered a substantial shift in their military priorities, insisting the US is only in Syria to control the oil. Officials did not say why this patrol was being carried out.

Syrian state media offered a similar accounting of what happened, saying that the US troops arrived at the checkpoint and started hassling the locals, and that the residents responded by attacking the convoy after the US troops started shooting.

Syrian state media also suggested that Russian and Syrian forces were present in the area. This has not been confirmed, though one Syrian soldier was reportedly hospitalized after the clash.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.