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A U.S. military service member suffered minor injuries Tuesday in a car bomb attack near Raqqa, Syria, the provisional command headquarters for all of ISIS, U.S Defense officials tell NBC News.
One official described the injuries as concussions from the bomb blast. The officials deny reports that one American was killed in the blast. The officials report the incident occurred well outside Raqqa city limits, but it appears U.S. Special Operations forces, working in their “advise and assist” role with Syrian rebel and Kurdish forces in an “advise and assist” role are inching closer to the ISIS capital.
Separately, another U.S. service member was injured in northern Iraq, near Erbil over the weekend. Pentagon spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis said the individual was injured by indirect fire, but would not elaborate beyond that. A defense official said that service member was medevaced to Landstuhl, Germany and that his injuries are not life-threatening.
Last week, Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S. allied umbrella group including Kurdish and Arab fighters, launched a large scale offensive on Raqqa, an ISIS stronghold. The push came just days after an unannounced visit to Syria by Army Gen. Joseph Votel to some of the 200 U.S. military advisers assisting in the fight against ISIS, according to the Associated Press.