Soldier killed in Syria was on mission to kill or capture ISIS leader

Soldier killed in Syria was on mission to kill or capture ISIS leader
© US Army Special Operations Command

The U.S. soldier who died following an explosion in Syria on Friday was on a mission to kill or capture a leader in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to the Defense Department.

Master Sgt. Johnathan Dunbar, 36, was with coalition forces “conducting a mission to kill or capture a known ISIS member when they were struck by an improvised explosive device,” Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway said in a statement Monday. “This operation was part of the Coalition's mission to defeat ISIS, and we remain focused on our mission.”

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Dunbar died from injuries along with a British soldier after the explosion in the city of Manbij, in northern Syria.

The incident is under investigation.

Dunbar, who was from Austin, Texas, was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the military campaign against ISIS that began in 2014. About 2,000 U.S. troops are in Syria to back Kurdish fighters in that fight.

A day before the incident, President Trump said during a speech in Ohio that the U.S. will be out of Syria “very soon” in light of successes in the fight against ISIS.

"Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon, very soon, we’re coming out," he said.