US Names Three Killed in Syria Blast Claimed by ISIS

By Reuters
January 18, 2019World News
US Names Three Killed in Syria Blast Claimed by ISIS
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Farmer (left), 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida is pictured in an undated photo released by the U.S. Army, in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, U.S. Navy Cryptologic Technician Shannon M. Kent, 35, is pictured in an undated photo released by the U.S. Navy, in Washington, on January 18, 2019. (U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS)

A U.S. Navy servicewoman and a former Navy SEAL are among the four Americans killed in a suicide bombing this week in northern Syria that the United States believes was likely carried out by ISIS, U.S. officials said on Jan. 18.

Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida; Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon Kent, 35, identified as being from upstate New York; and Scott Wirtz, a civilian Department of Defense employee from St. Louis, died during the Wednesday attack in Manbij, Syria, the Department of Defense said in a statement.

The Pentagon did not identify the fourth person killed, a contractor working for a private company.

The Manbij attack on U.S. forces in Syria appeared to be the deadliest since they deployed on the ground there in 2015. It took place in a town controlled by a militia allied with U.S.-backed Kurdish forces.

Kent joined the Navy in 2003 and in her years of service received nearly one dozen honors, including the National Defense Service Medal and two Joint Service Commendation Medals, Navy officials said in a statement.

Wirtz, a Navy SEAL for 10 years, had been employed by the Defense Intelligence Agency since 2017 and completed three deployments for the agency in the Middle East, the agency said.

Army officials did not immediately respond to requests for more details on Farmer.

Two U.S. government sources told Reuters on Thursday that the United States views ISIS as likely responsible for the attack. ISIS has claimed responsibility.

The attack occurred nearly a month after President Donald Trump withdrew all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria, declaring that ISIS had been defeated there.

Vice President Mike Pence said several hours after the blast on Wednesday that the militant group has been defeated.

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