Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Dutchess County woman killed in Syria attack

GettyImages-1079805546 Mike Pence panned for declaring ISIS defeated hours after terror group kills U.S. troops in Syria
Patty Aguilar | 19 January, 2019, 16:12

The Department of Defense released Friday the names of three Americans who died in a suicide bombing at a restaurant in Manbij in northern Syria.

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida.

The Pentagon hasn't identified the fourth casualty, a civilian contractor.

Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon Kent, 35, identified as being from upstate NY, 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.

But ISIS has claimed responsibility for a January 16 suicide attack in Manbij, Syria that killed 19 people, including four Americans.

DOD civilian Scott A. Wirtz of St. Louis, Missouri.

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.

Farmer was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

The U.S. has about 2,000 troops still in Syria, and Mr. Trump has ordered a withdrawal that is expected to be completed within four months. "She was a rockstar, an outstanding Chief Petty Officer, and leader to many in the Navy Information Warfare Community". Joseph Harrison, commanding officer of CWA 66, said in a statement. He joined the Army in 2005, and by 2007 had graduated from the Special Forces qualification course as an engineer sergeant, Bowdoin said in the statement.

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"There's a good chance the group had spotters engaged in surveillance in the immediate vicinity who informed Islamic State's local intelligence and security officials in real time to dispatch the suicide bomber", said Jade Parker, a former counterterrorism analyst in support of USA military activities.

Wirtz was assigned as an operations support specialist supporting Operation Inherent Resolve since February 2017.

The bombing is still under investigation.

During his years of service, Farmer received numerous awards and decorations, including a Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

He later said that he had chose to postpone the start of the military operation in Syria after a phone conversation with Trump on December 14, during which the U.S. president also revealed his plans to withdraw troops from Syria.

The U.S. has been conducting joint patrols with the Turkish military since early December under an agreement worked out by then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to ease Turkish concerns about the U.S. -backed SDF's presence in the region.

Farmer, Kent, and Wirtz died January 16, 2019, in Manbij, Syria, as a result of wounds sustained from a suicide bombing.

In a speech at the U.S. State Department Wednesday morning, Pence credited President Trump and the U.S. military with vanquishing Islamic State terrorists in Syria. "Now, ISIS does have an opportunity to prove it is still there and humiliate the U.S.as it withdraws".

"This horrific attack reminds us that ISIS has not been defeated, and I'm deeply concerned that the administration's announced withdrawal may embolden what remains of that risky organization", Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement.

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