Blast at US Syria Base May Have Been Insider Attack

Military says service member is a possible suspect
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 7, 2022 5:18 PM CDT
US Service Member Is Possible Suspect in Blast at Syria Base
In this Nov. 11, 2019, photo, Bradley fighting vehicles are parked at a US military base at an undisclosed location in eastern Syria.   (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)

A US service member has been identified as a possible suspect in an April explosion that injured several US troops at a base in eastern Syria. Patrick Barnes, a spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Division, said in a statement that the potential suspect is back in the United States, and the investigation by Army CID and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations is ongoing, the AP reports. Barnes did not release the suspect's name.

The US military initially reported that the injuries were caused by artillery or another form of indirect fire. But it later said the April 7 attack was carried out by the "deliberate placement of explosive charges" by one or more individuals at an ammunition holding area and shower facility on the base, known as Green Village. The blasts hit two support buildings and four service members were evaluated for minor injuries and possible traumatic brain injuries. The US has several hundred troops in eastern Syria as part of its effort to counter the Islamic State group.

Officials tell CNN that the explosives involved were "not insignificant," with more power than a hand grenade. The officials said they had no details about a possible motive. No charges have been filed. In a statement Monday, the military said that "at this point, these are just allegations, all suspects are presumed to be innocent until/unless convicted in a court of law." (More Syria stories.)

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