A U.S. military member fighting alongside Syrian Democratic Forces in northern Syria in Ayn Issa, about an hour from the ISIS-controlled capital of Raqqa, was killed on Thanksgiving day by an improvised explosive device.
The service member’s name, rank and branch haven’t yet been released.
From Fox News:
“The death is believed to be the first American military casualty since the start of the operation against Islamic State fighters.
“‘The entire counter-ISIL Coalition sends our condolences to this hero’s family, friends and teammates,’ said Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve in a statement. ‘On this Thanksgiving, please be thankful that there are service members willing to take up the fight to protect our homeland from ISIL’s hateful and brutal ideology.’”
American troops are part of the allied force from several nations that are in the area to battle ISIS.
An estimated 300 special U.S. forces are embedded with the Syrian Demmocratic Forces, which are led by the Kurds.
American planes have also been bombing various targets in Syria.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, in a statement reported by the New York Times, said: “I am deeply saddened by the news on this Thanksgiving Day that one of our brave service members has been killed in Syria while protecting us from the evil of ISIL. It is a painful reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face around the world to keep us safe.”