British soldier killed by IED in Syria in first UK troop death in fight against Isil

British soldier killed by IED in Syria in first UK troop death in fight against IsilA British special forces soldier has been killed by an improvised explosive device in Syria, in the first death of a serving UK troop in the fight against the Islamic State. An American was also killed by the roadside bomb in the northern Syrian city of Manbij on Thursday, which also wounded four members of the local council. The unnamed British soldier was embedded with US special forces overseeing a clean-up operation in Manbij, which was controlled by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) until it was taken by allied Kurdish and Arab forces in the summer of 2016. The city, close to the border with Turkey, earned the nickname “Little London” because of the large numbers of British Isil fighters stationed in the city during the days of the “caliphate”. A Ministry Of Defence spokesperson said: "It is with regret that we must confirm that a member of the UK Armed Forces was killed by an improvised explosive device in Syria yesterday. "The individual was embedded with US forces on a counter-Daesh operation when the incident occurred. "The family has been notified and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. The 'Beatles' of terror Since 2014 the coalition has provided weapons, training and other support to Kurdish and Arab forces fighting Isil jihadists in Syria and Iraq. While Isil has largely been cleared from northern Syria, sleeper cells are known to operate and have carried out a number of insurgent attacks in recent months. Special forces units are known to be on the ground in Syria, securing areas retaken from Isil, but officials have refused to comment on their activities. Manbij is currently under threat of attack from Turkey, which stormed the nearby northern Syrian town of Afrin after an offensive against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) militia. Ankara has repeatedly threatened to push its operations farther east to Manbij, which could lead to a direct confrontation between the two Nato allies. The attack in Manbij happened late Thursday – the day US President Donald Trump said he would pull out forces "very soon". It came after Donald Trump caught his officials off guard by saying that America would be "out" of Syria "very soon" during a speech on infrastructure. Operation Shader | Britain’s war against Islamic State The US president dropped the hint while speaking in Ohio on Thursday night in an address intended to drum up support for more infrastructure spending. He said: “We’re knocking the hell out of Isis. We’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now.” Mr Trump added: “We got to get back to our country where we belong, where we want to be." The comments contrast with James Mattis, the US defence secretary, and Rex Tillerson, the former secretary of state, who have said the US needs to remain engaged. It reflects Mr Trump's shifting stance on foreign intervention. He called for US troops to pull out of Afghanistan during the election campaign but has since deployed thousands more soldiers. This latest incident brings the number of US personnel killed in action during the operation against Isil to 14. Addressing the House of Commons on Thursday, Penny Mordaunt, International Development Secretary, confirmed that the UK will remain member of international coalition to “prevent Daesh remerging elsewhere.” “Our work is not yet done, Daesh still holds pockets of territory in Syria,” she added. “With its loss of territory, it will still pose a threat as an insurgency, they will continue to try to direct and inspire terror attacks around the world.”



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines