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U.S. soldier killed on Thanksgiving Day is first American casualty in Syria

Map of the middle-east region of Syria - outer edges blurred to increase focus on the center of the image.

An American soldier was killed in Syria on Thanksgiving Day, marking the first U.S. casualty in Syria since airstrikes began in 2014.

In a statement, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that the soldier was killed near Ayn Issa in northern Syria.

“I am deeply saddened by the news on this Thanksgiving Day that one of our brave service members has been killed in Syria while protecting us from the evil of ISIL,” Carter said. “It is a painful reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face around the world to keep us safe.”

The soldier was with U.S. special forces embedded with Syrian forces combatting the Islamic State, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A limited number of U.S. special forces troops have been deployed within the war-torn country, but this is the first death of a U.S. service member on Syrian soil.

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