On Feb. 12, U.S. military convoys, conducting a patrol near Qamishli in northeast, Syria, encountered a checkpoint occupied by pro-Syrian regime forces.
After U.S. troops issued a series of warnings and de-escalation attempts, the patrol came under small arms fire from unknown individuals. In self-defense, Coalition troops returned fire.
“The situation was de-escalated and is under investigation. The Coalition patrol returned to base,” said Coalition military spokesman, Col. Myles B. Caggins III.
It was unclear whether the confrontation was between U.S. military personnel and the militia members, civilian protesters, or a mix of both. Russian forces later arrived at the scene to mediate, according to other reports.
Video posted to social media appeared to show at least four U.S. armored vehicles stopped on a road with military personnel on foot. A second video showed armored vehicles with Russian and Syrian flags.
Some sources reported that one injured person in a Syrian Arab Army uniform was taken to a nearby hospital, while Syrian state media SANA reported that a civilian was killed and another injured in the confrontation.
Residents attacked the convoy after U.S. soldiers opened fire on civilians, according to the SANA report, which has not been verified.
According to Voice of America, U.S. forces were in control of most of northeast Syria until October, when the Turkish military and its allied Syrian militants launched a campaign against the U.S.-backed SDF. Since then, Russian forces and the Syrian government have entered the border region between Turkey and northeast Syria with the aim of filling the area evacuated by U.S. forces.
The SAA prevented today a #US convoy from crossing Khirbet Amo, south #Qamishli, and the villagers supported the SAA and threw stones on the US patrol which shot & killed 1 civilian.
In the video, a civilian tells the occupation: You cannot pass even if there are 100 agreements. pic.twitter.com/l0Xj7oggJk
— Min Ehl-i lkura (@ibrahimkarakec4) February 12, 2020
#Syrian government supporters in the village of Khirbet Ammo, eastern #Qamishli, blocking the path of a #US #military patrol as it approaches a Syrian government checkpoint near the village, northeastern #Syria. pic.twitter.com/9lh2qUT05n
— NORTH PRESS AGENCY – ENGLISH (@NPA_English) February 12, 2020