On March 31, the US-led coalition identified its two servicemembers, who were killed on March 30 attack, as Master Sergeant Jonathan Dunbar of the US Army and Sergeant Matt Tonroe of the UK Army. US Special Presidential Envoy for the US-led coalition Brett McGurk also confirmed that the fatal attack had taken place in the northern city of Manbij, which is controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Alan TV journalist, Jenan Mosua, revealed that the attack had taken place near the Sheikh Akil graveyard in the southern part of the city of Manbij. Locals told Jenan that US-led coalition servicemembers had been driving a white Hyundai van when they had been attacked with an IED or possibly a hand grenade.
According to Jenan two female fighters of the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), who were aboard the van with the US-led coalition servicemembers, were also injured in the attack. The two fighters are currently receiving medical care in a local hospital.
Local sources from Manbij city reported that the US-led coalition had increaed the number of its troops in the city and had deployed mine detection systems there. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and attack helicopters of the US-led coalition were also spotted over Manbij right after the attack.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet. However, Kurdish activists suggests that Turkish-backed fighters might be behind the incident. Turkey has been threatening to attack Manbij for months now. There is a chance that Ankara may use its proxies to increase the “costs” of the US-led coalition deployment in Manbij.