US Troops Hurt In Helicopter Crash

U.S. military officials confirmed on Tuesday that 22 service personnel were wounded in a helicopter crash over the weekend in northeastern Syria and that the reason was still being investigated.

The 22 American servicemen suffered injuries of varying severity.

According to the military statement, the service personnel were being treated, and ten had been transferred to “higher care facilities” in other parts of the country.

At least 900 U.S. troops and an unknown number of contractors are present in Syria at any given time. The official tally does not consider the influx and outflow of U.S. special operations soldiers, who often operate in small teams.

Since 2015, American troops have been stationed in Syria to help the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces fight against the Islamic State (IS).

Over the past three years, American soldiers have been the target of repeated attacks, most often by members of the IS or by rebels backed by Iran. In a drone strike on a U.S. base at the end of March, one contractor was killed, and five American soldiers and another contractor were injured. American fighter jets retaliated by dropping bombs on many locations in and around Deir el-Zour, an eastern area bordering Iraq.

U.S. forces have been working to prevent a return of the terrorist organization IS, which surged through Iraq and Syria in 2014 and took control of vast swathes of land in March 2019, when they were defeated in Syria.

However, sleeper cells inside IS continue to pose a risk. In addition to the tens of thousands of IS combatants currently incarcerated in Syrian detention facilities, tens of thousands of their relatives reside in two refugee camps in the country’s northeast.

According to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the drone attack and subsequent attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces in Syria by militants associated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard prompted the strikes.

Hundreds of Islamic State jihadists detained in regional prisons after their home countries refused to repatriate them were declared to face trial on Saturday by Syrian Kurdish-led authorities.