Before I left for Manbij as an independent journalist last June I talked to Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria.
The big picture: On Wednesday an Islamic State-claimed suicide attack killed four Americans, including two soldiers, on patrol in Manbij, Syria.
- "[President] Trump has been consistent about what he says about Syria. He does not want to keep American forces in Syria, he does not want to get too involved in it."
- "If there is an incident where ten or fifteen American soldiers are killed, it becomes a political issue in the U.S., and Trump will abandon Syria. The Iranians understand that."
- "We don't know who is responsible" for the death of Army Master Sgt. Jonathan Dunbar. Mr Dunbar, who was killed in an IED attack March 30, 2018, was the last U.S. soldier to die in Syria prior to Wednesday's attack. Also in Manbij.