Twenty-two U.S. service members were injured June 11, 2023, in a helicopter mishap in northeastern Syria.
The U.S. Central Command announced the incident in a press release issued June 12.
The incident “resulted in injuries of various degrees … the service members are receiving treatment for their injuries, and 10 have been evacuated to higher care facilities outside of the CENTCOM area of responsibility,” the statement read.
The military went on to say that the incident is under investigation, “although no enemy fire was reported.”
There are an estimated 900 U.S. forces on the ground in Syria, along with an unknown number of contractors.
Since 2015, U.S. forces have been in Syria advising the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in their fight against the Islamic State group. IS was defeated in 2019 and the U.S. troops have been trying to prevent a resurgence. Despite defeating IS, the group remains a threat with sleeper cells throughout the country, and approximately 10,000 IS fighters in detention centers.
U.S. troops in Syria are regularly attacked by IS fighters, and by Iranian-backed fighters in the country. The most recent attack was a drone attack on a U.S. base in March 2023 that killed a contractor and wounded five U.S. service members and another contractor.
In a direct response, U.S. fighter jets hit several locations in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, which borders Iraq.