Late on Monday, the U.S. military reported that a helicopter “mishap” in northeast Syria on Sunday left 22 US troops injured . They did not disclose the cause of the incident or the extent of the injuries.
According to the Central Command of the U.S. military, they transported 10 service men to higher-level medical facilities outside the area.
Despite the absence of reported enemy fire, Central Command, responsible for U.S. troops in the Middle East, announced that they are actively investigating the cause of the incident.
Officials at U.S. Central Command did not immediately respond to requests for further information.
The U.S. has deployed approximately 900 personnel to Syria, with the majority of them stationed in the east. Their mission involves combating the remnants of the Islamic State. American troops there have come under repeated attacks in recent years by Iran-backed militia.
Counter-Strikes in Syria
In March, strikes and counter-strikes in Syria left 25 U.S. troops injured . Additionally, one U.S. contractor was killed, and another was injured.
U.S. forces first deployed into Syria during the Obama administration’s campaign against Islamic State, partnering with a Kurdish-led group called the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Although the Islamic State is now a diminished version of the group that declared a caliphate in 2014, governing parts of Syria and Iraq, there are still hundreds of fighters remaining in desolate areas. Neither the U.S.-led coalition nor the Syrian army, with support from Russia and Iranian-backed militias, exercise complete control over these regions.
America’s key ally in the country, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, guards detention facilities where they hold thousands of other Islamic State fighters.
U.S. officials say that Islamic State could still regenerate into a major threat.
The threats from Iran-backed militia to U.S. forces are a reminder of the complex geopolitics of Syria, where Syrian President Bashar al-Assad counts on support from Iran and Russia and sees American troops as occupiers.