On February 12, angry locals engaged U.S. forces in a firefight in Khirbat Amu in northern al-Hasakah after U.S. troops had allegedly killed a 14-year old teenager in the town. The videos released by Syrian media allows to see the intense usage of light weapons.
In an official statement, the U.S.-led coalition confirmed that its forces engaged in clashes with “unknown individuals” in Khribat Amu. The coalition said that no injuries were sustained. However, it didn’t comment on the alleged killing of a local teenager.
“The situation was de-escalated and is under investigation, the coalition’s patrol returned to base,” Col. Myles B. Caggins III, a spokesman for the coalition, said in the statement.
The incident took place near a checkpoint of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). Locals reportedly attempted to block U.S. forces which responded with live fire, allegedly killing the teenager. The army stood with the locals. However, it didn’t take part in the clashes.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said that U.S. forces had withdrawn from Khirbat Amu under the cover of US warplanes, which counducted three airstrikes. However, local sources said that there were no airstrikes, saying that U.S. forces used flash and smoke grenades to cover their retreat.
Pro-US sources already describe the locals as the ‘Syrian Army’:
— MOHAMMED HASSAN (@MHJournalist) February 12, 2020
A unit of the Russian Military Police was quickly dispatched to the incident area to de-escalate the situation. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were also connected by the Russian side to assist in the issue.
Several incidents between the locals and U.S. forces took place in the last few months. However, Khirbat Amu incident has been the most serious escalation so far. If U.S. forces were indeed responsible for the death of the local, the situation could escalate even further.