An airman trained to defuse bombs has been accused of planting explosives at a base in northeast Syria in April that injured four American troops, U.S. Air Force officials said.
Tech Sgt. David D. Dezwaan Jr., an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician, has been charged with aggravated assault, destroying military property, and dereliction of duty, among other charges, authorities said Thursday.
The attack happened early in the morning of April 7 at a small base known as Green Village. Authorities with Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State militants, initially thought the explosion resulted from artillery or mortar rounds.
“Upon further investigation, OIR officials assess the explosions in Green Village were not the result of indirect fire but rather the deliberate placement of explosive charges by an unidentified individual at an ammunition holding area and shower facility,” U.S. Central Command officials said in a statement about a week after the detonation.
According to media reports, the injuries at Green Village were described as minor but included possible traumatic brain injuries.
A possible motive for the incident has not been released. A preliminary hearing will be held on Aug. 23 at Hill Air Force Base in Utah.