Airman Accused of Insider Attack on US Base in Syria That Injured 4 Troops

FacebookTwitterPinterestEmailShare
Staff Sgt. David Dezwaan, 60th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal technician, inspects the wiring of a simulated radioactive dispersal device during an exercise May 5, 2016, at Clear Lake, California. (Senior Airman Bobby Cummings/U.S. Air Force photo)
Staff Sgt. David Dezwaan, 60th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal technician, inspects the wiring of a simulated radioactive dispersal device during an exercise May 5, 2016, at Clear Lake, California. (Senior Airman Bobby Cummings/U.S. Air Force photo)

The Air Force released the identity of an airman who was arrested in June and accused of staging an insider attack on a U.S. military base in Syria that left four service members injured. 

Tech. Sgt. David W. Dezwaan Jr., of the 75th Air Base Wing out of Utah, was charged Thursday with dereliction of duty; destroying military property; reckless endangerment; access of a government computer with an unauthorized purpose; obtaining classified information; and aggravated assault, according to the Air Force. 

"The charges stem from an investigation into an incident that took place in Green Village, Syria, in April 2022," Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a statement. 

Read Next: Veterans Can Start Filing New Claims Now for 23 Illnesses Covered Under New Law

Military investigators have been looking into what occurred at Green Village, a small U.S. base in Syria just north of the Euphrates River, after explosions hit two buildings inside the base walls on April 7.

As a result of the blast, four service members were treated for "minor injuries and possible traumatic brain injuries," officials said in a statement at the time. The four received medical care but were returned to service shortly after the incident.

While investigators originally thought the attack was the result of indirect fire to the base, a week later, U.S. Central Command issued a statement clarifying it was caused by "the deliberate placement of explosive charges by an unidentified individual(s) at an ammunition holding area and shower facility."

There are fewer than 1,000 U.S. troops and special operators in the country to assist the Syrian Democratic Forces.

The Army's Criminal Investigation Division and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations began following tips that led to the arrest in June. 

"After reviewing the information in the investigation, the airman's commander made the decision to place him in pretrial confinement," Stefanek said in June. 

The preliminary hearing date has been scheduled for Aug. 23 at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. 

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct Dezwaan's middle initial, which was incorrect in the Air Force's original press release.

-- Thomas Novelly can be reached at thomas.novelly@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.

Related: Airman Arrested in Connection with Attack on US Base in Syria that Injured 4 Troops

Show Full Article