According to a statement from the military and three defense officials, one or more US service members might have set of explosives as part of an insider assisted attack on a small US base in northern Syria. The attack happened in April of this year in which four service members were injured.
The Army’s Criminal Investigation Division as well as the Air Force Office of Special Investigations is conducting the investigation into the attack on the American outpost. As of yet, no one has been charged. Investigators are also certain that the suspect(s) are no longer in Syria.
First on CNN: The US military is investigating whether a US service member carried out an insider attack on a base in Syria that injured four Americans in April, sources say https://t.co/IhU3bgT5Zl
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In a statement made on Monday, the military said:
“Army CID and Air Force OSI are conducting a joint investigation of the incident. A possible suspect, a US service member, has been identified… At this point, these are just allegations, all suspects are presumed to be innocent until/unless convicted in a court of law. The investigation is ongoing, which may or may not, develop sufficient evidence to identify a perpetrator(s) and have enough evidence to ensure a conviction in a court of law. No further information will be released at this time.”
The April attack was conducted in the middle of the night and officials, have identified security footage that showed “a figure” moving through the area quickly on two separate occasions. Investigators are not sure whether or not both instances are the same person.
Two of the military officials described the explosives as “military grade” and “not insignificant”, having a kill radius of greater than five meters (just over 16 feet).
Following the attack, US forces conducted a “commander’s investigation” which included a Battle Damage assessment (BDA) and a crater analysis. Once it became apparent that the explosion was not caused by indirect fire, but a deliberate charge, the investigation was turned over to CID.
While the four troops injured in the blast were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, they were all treated and returned to duty the same month.
In a statement, the US Central Command said “The matter remains under investigation,” but declined to offered any additional details.