Car bomb targets US special forces near Kobani, Syria

US Special Forces have rarely been photographed in northern Syria's autonomous region

A car bomb explosion targeting US military advisors assisting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria was reported late on Sunday.

According to Kurdish outlet Basnews, the remote controlled blast occurred 35km to the south of Kobani, on the Qaraqozan Bridge.

A local source within the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), an important component of the SDF, said the armoured US vehicle had already passed the car bomb when it went off, “therefore, no casualties are reported”. It has not been confirmed if the attack was carried out by the Islamic State (IS) group.

There are thought to be around 500 US military personnel supporting the SDF’s Wrath of Euphrates operation to capture Raqqa, the IS’ last stronghold in Syria. The personnel are stationed in an airbase and military installation in southern Kobani, just to the north of Raqqa.

Only one US soldier has died in Syria so far since Special Operations forces were deployed there in October 2015. Officer Scott C. Dayton was killed in November 2016 by an improvised explosive device near Ain Issa (35 miles northwest of Raqqa).

Three American citizens who joined the YPG have also been killed in clashes with the Islamic State group, with another, Michael Israel, dying in a Turkish airstrike in November.