The Pentagon announced in a statement on Thursday that an American service member in Syria died from injuries suffered by an improvised explosive device.
“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,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement.
The victim’s name has not been released yet.
Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said more information “would be released as appropriate.”
The Washington Post reports:
The service member was killed near Ayn Issa, a town roughly 35 miles northwest of the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa. The death marks the first time a U.S. service member has been killed in the country since a contingent of Special Operations forces were deployed there in October 2015 to go after the extremist group.
Gen. Townsend also said, “Our entire coalition sends condolences to this hero’s family, friends and teammates.”
Hundreds of U.S. service members are operating in Syria — playing a supporting role to a group of Arab and Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS or ISIL.