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US soldier dies in Syria

Spc. Alex J. Ram. (U.S. Army photo/Released)
February 04, 2022

A U.S. Army soldier died this week in Syria while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

20-year-old Spc. Alex J. Ram, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., died Feb. 1, 2022, during non-combat operations in Tell Beydar, Syria. The Department of Defense first revealed the death and Ram’s identity on Friday.

The exact cause of Ram’s death is unclear and the incident is under investigation.

Ram was assigned to 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), 4th Infantry Division, based out of Fort Carson, Colo.

Ram’s awards and decorations included the Army Commendation Medal with Campaign Star, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Ribbon and the Army Service Ribbon.

“The passing of Spc. Alex Ram is an unfortunate loss for the entire Raider team,” Col. Andrew Steadman, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division said. “We want to convey our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends during this time of mourning. Every Soldier fills an important role in the Raider Brigade, and losing Alex is particularly tough. He brought honor to the uniform and was not only an outstanding Soldier, but a loyal friend. Alex will be deeply missed.”

Another U.S. soldier, 22-year-old Spc. Antonio I. Moore, was killed in a non-combat incident in Syria in January 2020. Moore was involved in route clearing operations in Syria’s Deir ez Zor Province when the vehicle he was in rolled over.

Moore was assigned to the 363rd Engineer Battalion, 411th Engineer Brigade, an Army reserve unit based out of Knightdale, N.C.

Another soldier died in a non-combat incident in Syria in July 2020. That soldier was initially identified as a service member supporting Operation Inherent Resolve and the cause of his death was described only as a “very unfortunate mishap.” Army Times subsequently reported the soldier was identified as 25-year-old Sgt. Bryan Cooper Mount. He reportedly died in a rollover accident while conducting a security patrol in northeast Syria.

Mount was assigned to 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

The U.S. military currently maintains about 900 U.S. troops in Syria, supporting primarily Kurdish forces as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the counter-terrorism mission to counter ISIS.

Ram’s death comes the same week U.S. special operations forces conducted a raid on the leader of ISIS, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, at his home in northwest Syria. President Joe Biden ordered the raid on al-Qurayshi on Wednesday night. Al-Qurayshi detonated a suicide bomb, killing himself and his family members during the raid.

The raid on al-Qurayshi’s home comes just over two years after then-President Donald Trump ordered U.S. special operations forces to raid the home of the previous ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, at his home in Syria, on Oct. 27, 2019. Al-Baghdadi similarly detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and members of his family when he became cornered by U.S. forces.

This article was updated to include additional information about Spc. Alex J. Ram.