The first American casualty in Syria fighting against the Islamic State came on Thanksgiving Day – a reminder of all the heroes in this battle who deserve our utmost gratitude, and a call to live up to the spirit of their sacrifices with an unyielding stand against the terror of ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Taliban, Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, and depressingly so on.
A statement from Operation Inherent Resolve said the U.S. service member suffered fatal wounds from an improvised explosive device near Ayn Issa, the northern Syrian town where the Syrian Democratic Forces coalition of Arab, Kurdish and Assyrian fighters at the beginning of the month announced the “Wrath of Euphrates” offensive to boot ISIS out of their capital, Raqqa.
Squeezing off Raqqa and eventually liberating the city is no small feat, but the tens of thousands of fighters have been steadily carving a path toward the ISIS stronghold, freeing villages as they go.
Inherent Resolve commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said that as the fallen American soldier is remembered we must “be thankful that there are service members willing to take up the fight to protect our homeland from ISIL’s hateful and brutal ideology.”
Indeed, give thanks for the “one mission, many nations” – the motto of Operation Inherent Resolve – from Australia to Asia to the Middle East, Europe and Africa who contribute to the effort with training, equipment, airstrikes and more.