Jun 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Reports: U.S. investigating if service member staged an insider attack in Syria

US forces patrol near the countryside of Rumaylan (Rmeilan) in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province near the Turkish border, on May 26, 2022.

U.S. forces patrol near the countryside of Rmeilan in Syria. Delil Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. military is investigating whether an American service member conducted an insider attack at a base in Syria that left four service members injured, CNN first reported Monday.

Driving the news: "A possible suspect, a US service member, has been identified," the Pentagon said in a statement to CNN on Monday. "At this point, these are just allegations, all suspects are presumed to be innocent until/unless convicted in a court of law."

Flashback: An attack at a small base in northern Syria in April left four service members with "possible traumatic brain injuries" and other minor wounds, per the Washington Post.

  • U.S. officials originally said the attack was caused by indirect fire on the base. But the military later released a statement saying the attack was a “deliberate placement of explosive charges by an unidentified individual(s) at an ammunition holding area and shower facility.”
  • Officials said the attack happened in the middle of the night, which suggests the perpetrator did not try to cause mass casualties, CNN reports.
  • But the timing suggests the suspect may have tried to escape quietly or quickly, officials told CNN.

What's next: The Army's Criminal Investigation Division and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations are conducting the investigation into the attack, per CNN.

  • "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," the Pentagon said in a statement to CNN. "No further information will be released at this time."

U.S. Central Command and the Department of Defense did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

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