US soldiers in Rojava
U.S. President Barack Obama’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL (IS/ISIS), Brett McGurk, has tweeted tonight that a “US service member has died from wounds in Northern Syria”.
This is the first U.S. service member to have been killed in action in the fight against ISIS in Syria.
Although McGurk does not specify where and how the U.S. service member was killed, he does say that he died in “northern Syria supporting our partners in the fight against ISIL terrorists”. It has been known for some time now that a limited number of U.S. soldiers have been placed in certain battlefronts across Rojava in a purely advisory role.
Earlier this year, photos of U.S. soldiers in Rojava wearing YPG/YPJ coats of arms on their uniforms were being shared on social media. The Turkish state has been frustrated by the USA’s alliance with the Kurds of Rojava and a difference of opinion in this regard has caused several heated exchanges between the two countries.
McGurk later tweeted: “Our entire coalition sends condolences to this hero's family, friends, and teammates. More info released as appropriate.”
The U.S. service member died on Thursday after being wounded in an improvised explosive device blast near Ayn Issa, northern Syria, U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, said in a statement.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter expressed condolences in a statement, calling the death a "painful reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face around the world to keep us safe."
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