A pilot detained as investigation into Syria blast wounds U.S. troops

WASHINGTON (AP) – An Air Force pilot has been detained over an April explosion that wounded several U.S. troops at a base in eastern Syria.

Air Force spokesman Ross Riley said the pilot was placed in pretrial custody by his commanding officer after reviewing the investigation. A preliminary hearing on the matter is expected on Wednesday.

Riley said no charges have been filed and the pilot’s identity will not be released unless charged. The military did not provide details about the investigation.

The U.S. military initially reported that the injuries were caused by artillery or other forms of indirect fire. But it later said the April 7 attack was carried out by “deliberately placing explosives” in the base’s ammunition storage area and shower facility, known as the Green Village, by one or more personnel.

The blast hit two support buildings and four service members were assessed for minor injuries and possible traumatic brain injury.

The investigation is being conducted by the Army Criminal Investigation Division and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

The United States has deployed hundreds of soldiers in eastern Syria as part of efforts to fight the Islamic State group.

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