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An American armored vehicle with glass shattered by bullets sits in the vicinity of the village of Khirbet Amo on February 12, 2020. Screenshot taken from Rudaw footage.

Rudaw: American convoy attacked by Assad loyalists in northeast Syria

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – An American military convoy came under attack from civilians and militias loyal to President Bashar Assad’s regime in northeast Syria on Wednesday morning, according to Kurdish and Syrian sources. 

The attack happened in the Arab village of Khirbet Amo, southeast of the city of Qamishli near the Turkish border when the elements affiliated with the Syrian government fired at the convoy. 

The village is home to a Syrian Government National Defense Force outpost. Its residents are known to be pro-Assad.

“An American convoy entered at around ten to nine [8:50 am],” local resident Mohammad Ali Mohammad told Rudaw from inside the village.

“People tried to prevent them from entering the village, this area is a dead end there is nothing else beyond this village,” he added.

Graphic: Sarkawt Mohammed | Rudaw English, Maps4news

The US-led coalition said it had been conducting a patrol near Qamishli when it encountered a checkpoint occupied by regime loyalists.

“After Coalition troops issued a series of warnings and de-escalation attempts, the patrol came under small arms fire from unknown individuals,” read a statement released by the US-led coalition. “In self-defense, Coalition troops returned fire.

One civilian was killed and another injured by US retaliatory fire, a Rudaw reporter in Qamishli and Syrian state media have reported.

Hawar News, an outlet affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said one of its reporters accompanying the convoy was attacked by regime’s elements and their equipment seized. A reporter from Hawar News accompanying the Americans told Rudaw from the scene that both Arab civilians and the National Defense Force attacked them as they entered the village.

Footage taken by Rudaw in the vicinity of Khirbet Amo in the aftermath of the clash between Assad loyalists and American forces shows American armored vehicles in retreat as Russian vehicles enter the village. Dozens of villagers stand clustered around vehicles with raised Syrian and Russian flags.

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