Paratrooper, Sgt. 1st Class Robert Nicoson was acquitted of all charges accusing him of leading a patrol into an unnecessary confrontation in Syria in 2020. He was also accused of ordering troops to delete footage of the encounter but the allegation did not hold weight. His charges were dropped last Friday before a court-martial at Fort Bragg. Nicoson’s civilian defense attorney argued that the patrol had briefed leaders of its intention to go to the checkpoint where the gunfight occurred.
On Aug 17th, 2020 Nicoson’s patrol approached a checkpoint in northeastern Syria guarded by troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Nicoson was accused of dismounting his vehicle and threatening to kill the sentries if they did not allow passage. The Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesperson said at the time that the American patrol did receive the safe passage signal but individuals in the vicinity opened fire on them anyway. It was noticed during the initial interaction with the guard that fighters were setting up surrounding offensive positions, and the defense argued that any threats Nicoson made were in an effort to deter an attack.