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Pentagon Identifies US Soldier Killed in Syria


Manbij

The Pentagon has identified the U.S. soldier who died Friday in Syria following an explosion in the northern city of Manbij.

The soldier was identified Saturday as Johnathan Dunbar, 36, from Austin, Texas. A British soldier was also killed, while five other troops were wounded by a roadside bomb blast Thursday night, according to U.S. officials.

Britain's Defense Ministry confirmed the second fatality came from within its ranks. A defense spokesman said the British service member was embedded with U.S. forces at the time of the attack and said the coalition forces were carrying out an operation against the Islamic State group.

The attack near Manbij, a former Islamic State stronghold where U.S. forces are stationed, occurred one day after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would withdraw U.S. forces in the near future.

"We're coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon — very soon we're coming out," Trump said in a speech in the Midwestern U.S. state of Ohio without offering details.

A U.S. defense official said, however, the U.S. mission in Syria remained unchanged and added that U.S. troops were there to defeat IS.

The U.S. has more than 2,000 military personnel in Syria, 60 of whom have been killed since the campaign to destroy IS began in 2014.

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