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IS claims Syria attack on US-led coalition

PTI beirut
Updated: 16-01-2019 20:18 IST
IS claims Syria attack on US-led coalition

Beirut, Jan 16 (AFP) The Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide attack that targeted the US-led coalition in the northern Syrian city of Manbij on Wednesday.

"Suicide attacker Abu Yassin al-Shami wearing an explosive vest set off towards a patrol including members of the Crusader coalition and the PKK apostates near the Palace of Princes restaurant in the city of Manbij," a statement posted on the group's usual social media channels said.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, at least 15 people, including a US serviceman, were killed in the rare attack in Manbij.

The name provided by IS suggests the bomber was Syrian and the term "PKK apostates" is used by the jihadists to refer to Kurdish forces from the People's Protection Units (YPG).

The YPG, a Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has waged a decades-old insurgency against the Turkish state, is a key component of a local force that often carries out joint patrols with the coalition.

IS no longer holds fixed positions in the Manbij area and is currently defending its very last pocket of land against US-backed Kurdish-led forces in eastern Syria.

The jihadist group retains the ability however to carry out deadly suicide attacks in many parts of the country.

The Britain-based Observatory said the suicide blast was the first such attack against the coalition in Manbij in 10 months. (AFP) AMS