The Department of Defense on Friday identified three Americans killed after a suicide bomber triggered a fiery explosion Wednesday at a market in northern Syria, less than a month after President Donald Trump declared victory over Islamic State militants in the region.
Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida; Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon M. Kent, 35, of upstate New York; and civilian Scott A. Wirtz of St. Louis, Missouri; were killed in the bombing in Manbij, according to the DOD.
Farmer was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He is survived by his spouse, four children and his parents, a U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman said. He joined the Army in 2005 and had served on six overseas combat tours.
Kent, a chief cryptologic technician, enlisted in the Navy on Dec. 11, 2003 and graduated in February 2004 from boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Illinois, according to the Navy.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said in a statement in New York that the community will remember Kent’s service to the nation. “May her light shine on through her friends and loved ones,” Molinaro said. “And may her family find peace during this difficult time.”
All three died “as a result of wounds sustained from a suicide improvised explosive device,” the U.S. military said in a statement.
No details were offered for the fourth victim of the blast. The bombing incident is still under investigation.
The attack complicates a messy plan for U.S. withdrawal, a decision Trump’s senior advisers disagreed with before offering an evolving timetable for the removal of the approximately 2,000 U.S. troops. The bombing also underscores Pentagon assertions that the Islamic State is still a threat capable of deadly attacks.
“U.S. service members were killed during an explosion while conducting a routine patrol in Syria today,” the military’s Operation Inherent Resolve said in a statement.
A total of 16 people were killed in the midday explosion, including fighters with Syrian Democratic Forces. Those troops have fought alongside Americans in skirmishes with the Islamic State.