US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced in a press release Monday night that 22 US troops were injured in a “helicopter mishap” in northeastern Syria.
The command said the incident happened on Sunday and resulted in injuries of “various degrees.” The press release said that 10 service members were “evacuated to higher care facilities.”
CENTCOM shared little detail about the mishap, saying the cause is “still under investigation” and that no “enemy fire was reported.” It’s not clear where in northeast Syria the incident took place.
A US airdrop operation involving helicopters was reported on the same day in al-Hasakah, a province in northeast Syria. According to Syrian state media, the operation was carried out with the Kurdish-led SDF, and one civilian was killed by US forces.
The pro-opposition UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the helicopter raid but claimed a person “affiliated” with ISIS was killed in the joint US-SDF operation. Neither account has been confirmed, and CENTCOM has not mentioned the operation.
The US has about 900 troops in eastern Syria and backs the SDF in the region, allowing Washington to control about one-third of the country’s territory. The US claims the occupation is about fighting ISIS, but it is part of the economic campaign against Damascus, which involves crippling economic sanctions and the control of oil fields in occupied areas.