An IS suicide bomber set off an explosive vest next to the US patrol in the town of Manbij in eastern Syria on 16 January. The attack that took place at a restaurant nearby the Manbij main market killed “two US service members, one department of Defense (DoD) civilian and one contractor supporting DoD” and injured three US soldiers, as confirmed by the US Central Command. Apart from the Americans, 14 additional people have been killed and another 15 were wounded.
US President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence announced last December that the IS has been “defeated” and therefore he will begin withdrawing 2,000 US troops that are in Syria to back Kurdish and Arab forces. Even though the IS controls only 1% of its territories 5 years ago, opponents of the withdrawal worries the group has not completely disappeared yet.
There still are as many as 14,000 IS militants in Syria and much more in neighboring countries, in which they will develop guerrilla tactics to rebuild their network. “The move can encourage IS attacks and set in motion enthusiasm by the enemy we’re fighting,” said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, criticizing Trump’s decision of US troop withdrawal from Syria.