US Attacks Syrian Army Checkpoint, One Killed

Pentagon insists no casualties were reported

At least one Syrian soldier was killed Monday when US attack helicopters attacked a Syrian army checkpoint in Qamishli. The attack was related to an incident involving a US patrol convoy, though details are disputed.

The Pentagon account says that the convoy went through the checkpoint without incident, but that there had been an argument. After this, there was unconfirmed report of small arms fire, and the US attacked the checkpoint.

If the patrol was allowed through the checkpoint, it’s not clear why the US would attack it. Either way, officials suggested it was in “self defense.” US officials denied any airstrikes, above and beyond the helicopter gunships.

Qamishli is a Kurdish city, and the Syrian Army is there by invitation to keep the Turkish military out.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.