Fort Campbell soldier among Americans killed in Syrian explosion

Sunday, 20 Jan, 2019

Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said Saturday that U.S. strategy to arm PKK-affiliated the People's Protection Units (YPG) was a mistake as the two groups are clearly affiliated with each other.

A bomb attack in Manbij this week, claimed by the militant group, killed two U.S. troops and two civilians working for the USA military in northern Syria, along with other civilians.

On Wednesday, a suicide bomber using what the Pentagon called an "improvised explosive device" attacked a restaurant near Manbij's main market, said U.S. officials.

On the same day that an ISIS-claimed attack killed USA service members in Syria, Vice President Mike Pence declared that "the caliphate has crumbled and ISIS has been defeated".

The Pentagon has identified the two service members and one Defense Department employee who were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday. He was assigned to 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

He joined the Army in 2005. Farmer served on six overseas combat tours and was a decorated soldier who was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

Operation Inherent Resolve was formally launched in 2014.

He is survived by his wife, four children and parents.

Shannon Kent, a US Navy sailor from upstate NY who was killed in this week's suicide bombing in Syria, was remembered Friday in her hometown as "a wonderful person" who gave her life for her country. Her other military assignments included Navy Information Operations Command, Fort Gordon, Ga.; Navy Special Warfare Support Activity 2, Norfolk, Va.; Personnel Resource Development Office, Washington, D.C.; Navy Information Operations Command, Fort Meade, Md.; and Cryptologic Warfare Group 6, Fort Meade, Md. Joseph Harrison, commanding officer of CWA 66, said in a statement. The Navy only said Kent was from "upstate NY", but Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro confirmed Kent is from Dutchess County.

"She was a wonderful person and was an honor student", principal Tara Grieb told The Post.

Kent enlisted in the Navy in 2003. His DIA awards include the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also directed that flags at the state government be flown at half-staff to pay tribute to the fallen sailor.

"We never forget their noble and immortal sacrifice", he added. "On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to her family and loved ones", Cuomo said in a statement.

He said Kent "stepped up to serve her country and dedicated herself to a life of service", the governor said. According to her brother Ali Taher, she worked as an interpreter for the Army through a company called Valiant. He also said "we can be pulling back but we've been hitting ISIS very hard over the last three weeks. and it's moving along very well". On Feb. 1, 2017, Trump honoured the returning remains of a U.S. Navy SEAL killed in a raid in Yemen.

The agency said Wirtz was an "operations support specialist", which meant his expertise was to "manage, guide, and oversee human intelligence collection operations enabling DOD to meet national security information requirements".

The decision came just days after National Security Advisor John Bolton had suggested an indefinite USA troop presence in Syria, and as McGurk and then defense secretary Jim Mattis met coalition partners to confirm commitments for at least the next year.