An airman has been arrested by US military law enforcement in connection to the April 7 attack on the US-led coalition’s Green Village base in northeaster Syria.
The attack wounded at least four American service members. Initially, indirect fire was thought to be responsible for the attack. Sources affiliated with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces blamed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its allies in Syria. Nevertheless, the US-led coalition acknowledged around a week later that sabotage was behind the attack.
“As part of an ongoing investigation, on June 16, an Airman was taken into custody stateside in conjunction with the attack in Green Village, Syria. After reviewing the information in the investigation, the Airman’s commander made the decision to place him in pretrial confinement,” according to a statement provided to CNN on June 22 by Ann Stefanek, an Air Force spokesperson.
According to CNN, the investigation into the attack on the Green Village base is being carried out by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
US military investigators believe that the attack was the result of deliberate placement of explosive charges by one or more individual at an ammunition holding area and a shower facility in the base.
The explosives used were described to CNN by two officials as “not insignificant” but as being of a “military grade”. The officials said the attack took place in the middle of the night and have uncovered security footage showing two instances of a figure moving quickly. They are also looking into whether sentries were posted at either location.
The officials say it’s not clear if the timing of the attack suggests the perpetrator was not trying to cause mass casualties or was looking to get away as quietly and quickly as possible.
The four service members wounded in the attack were diagnosed and treated for traumatic brain injuries. They all returned to duty later in April.
The US maintains some 900 troops in Syria, most of them are deployed in key gas and oil fields in the northeastern region. The Green Village base for example is located in the center of al-Omar oil fields. Despite of the threats facing American troops in Syria, Washington does not appear to be planning to withdraw from the country any time soon.