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Pentagon identifies US soldier who died from IED bomb in Syria

An American flag hangs at half mast. (Wikimedia)
March 31, 2018

The Defense Department on Saturday identified the American soldier supporting Operation Inherent Resolve who was killed after an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near his patrol.

That soldier was Master Sgt. Johnathan J. Dunbar, 36, of Austin, Texas, who was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He died from injuries sustained during the IED attack, the Pentagon said.

Two U.S.-led Coalition personnel were killed on Thursday, and five others wounded, in Mangij, Syria.

Dunbar’s death marks the first death of an American service member in Syria or Iraq this year.

The Associated Press had initially reported that a Syrian official had said a roadside bomb exploded.

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Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) is the U.S.-led Coalition fighting ISIS.

Army Col. Ryan Dillon, OIR spokesman, said the names of the deceased would be released “at discretion of national authorities.”

Manbij is an Arab-Kurdish town that is near Syria’s northern border with Turkey and is northeast of the town of Aleppo.

There are more than 2,000 U.S. service members in Syria.

President Donald Trump on Thursday had unexpectedly said that the United States would be withdrawing troops from Syria.

“By the way, we’re knocking the hell out of ISIS,” Trump said during a speech in Ohio. “We’re coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon — very soon we’re coming out.”

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