What are U.S. troops doing in the Syrian city of Manbij?

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The Pentagon Friday confirmed it had begun pulling out some equipment from Syria as part of the pull-out, but that some 2,000 USA forces would remain in place until conditions on the ground allowed for them to leave.

An Islamic State-claimed suicide attack targeting US-led coalition forces in the flashpoint northern Syrian city of Manbij killed at least 15 people including four USA serviceman on Wednesday.

A violent explosion rocked the center of Syria's Kurdish city of Manbij on Wednesday afternoon, with initial reports indicating that at least tens of people, including U.S. military personnel, were killed or injured in the blast.

The attack comes as the U.S. prepares to withdraw troops from Syria - a decision Pence defended in his Wednesday morning remarks.

In explaining his decision in December to pull USA troops out of Syria, Trump declared, "We have won against ISIS".

Daesh* has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had been briefed on the Manbij attack.

Manbij has been held by US-backed fighters allied to the Kurdish YPG militia since they took it from ISIS in 2016.

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The explosion on Wednesday occurred at a restaurant in Manbij, a strategic northeastern border town near Turkey that ISIS has used to move fighters and supplies in and out of Syria.

It was unclear whether the attack might influence Trump's decision to give more time for the United States withdrawal, a conflict he has become intolerant of and described as "sand and death". US Central Command eventually confirmed the deaths of two service members, as well as a civilian and a contractor.

A US defense official told Fox News last Friday that the USA -led military coalition in Syria started the process of removing troops from the region, but wouldn't confirm further details for security purposes.

The officials also said an unspecified number of Americans were wounded in the attack, which took place near a coalition patrol, according to a defense official speaking on condition of anonymity. "Create 20 mile safe zone". "Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey".

Graham was among the most forceful GOP critics of Trump when he declared victory against ISIS last month and announced the US would withdraw troops. "Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms".

The people familiar with the conversation described it as sobering, and said it broke through to Trump in a way his conversations with national security officials in Washington had not.

"I would hope the President would look long at hard at where he's headed in Syria", Graham said.

The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have been the key USA ally in the fight against IS.

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