Defense Secretary Ash Carter today offered his condolences to the family, friends and other loved ones of a U.S. service member who was killed on Thanksgiving in Syria.
“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,” Carter said in a statement issued today. “It is a painful reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face around the world to keep us safe.”
The secretary added, “Please keep this service member's family, friends and teammates in your thoughts and prayers, and this Thanksgiving I hope you will join me in expressing thanks to all of our dedicated troops who selflessly protect us every day.”
The U.S. service member died from wounds sustained in an improvised explosive device blast in the vicinity of Ayn Issa in northern Syria, according to a Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve news release.
Further information will be released as appropriate, the release said.
“The entire counter-ISIL coalition sends our condolences to this hero's family, friends and teammates,” Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, said in the release. “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.”
It is CJTF-OIR policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities, the release said.