Service & Sacrifice: US Military Contractor Killed, Troops Wounded in Syria

A snapshot of the burdens being shouldered by brave US troops and military families around the world.

US Army soldiers fire an M777 Howitzer during an operational rehearsal exercise at Mission Support Site Conoco in Syria on December 4, 2022.

By Tom Sileo Published on March 24, 2023

Middle East

The US military is striking back after an American contractor was killed and multiple American service members were wounded by a suspected Iranian drone that crashed into a coalition base in Syria.

“The Defense Department said Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) crashed a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) into a building near Hasakah in northeast Syria at approximately 1:38 p.m. local time, leaving one US contractor dead,” Fox News reported late Thursday night. “The attack also wounded five US service members and another US contractor.”

Fox’s report added that President Joe Biden authorized multiple airstrikes against the IRGC in eastern Syria in response to the attack.

“Three service members and the US contractor were medically evacuated to coalition medical facilities in Iraq while the other two wounded service members were treated on-site,” Fox News’ Lawrence Richard wrote.

Please pray for the family of the contractor killed as well as the valiant troops and contractor who were wounded. We also ask God to protect the 900 American service members in Syria, an additional 2,500 stationed in neighboring Iraq and all US troops serving in the Middle East.

On Friday, Reuters reported that a second coalition base in Syria was targeted in a missile attack. Fortunately, the Pentagon said that no U.S. military personnel were injured in the strike, which occurred in the northeastern part of the country.

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Also in Syria, Russia has reportedly stepped up aggressive military flights over the war-torn country. The Pentagon’s allegation came after Russian fighter jets forced down a US military drone last week.

“It’s not new, but we have seen a significant spike since about March 1 in Syria,” US Army Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, as quoted by CNN, recently told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Also in the Middle East, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Pentagon is planning to deploy “aging A-10 attack planes to swap for more advanced combat aircraft in the Middle East as part of a Pentagon effort to shift more modern fighters to the Pacific and Europe to deter China and Russia.”

“Under the new plan, a squadron of A-10s will be based in the [Middle East] region along with two squadrons of F-15Es and F-16s. Squadrons deployed to the region usually number about 12 planes,” Michael R. Gordon’s report added.

Ukraine

Members of the Ukrainian military conducted training exercises inside the United States this week.

As Military.com reports, American troops and members of the media watched Ukrainian soldiers “set up and initialize an entire Patriot missile battery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma” earlier this week.

The report said the Ukrainian trainees were “restricted to Fort Sill” but also given access to the military base’s amenities. “The trainees also met regularly for off-time cookouts with their American trainers, engaging in cultural exchanges,” Ben Fenwick wrote.

The article adds that while the graduate date of the Ukrainian trainees is “classified,” the soldiers will soon return to their home country to fight invading Russian troops.

“It’s tough to watch them go forward,” said US Army Col. Martin O’Donnell, as quoted by Military.com. “It’s hard to be in the passenger seat. I deal with Ukrainians almost daily … . They’ve got a tough break, the Ukrainians.”

As The Stream has been reporting, more than 100,000 US military forces remain in Europe as Russia’s war against Ukraine stretches well into its second year.

Coming Home

After spending nearly seven years deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, the USS Barry is back in the United States. Navy sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer will now be stationed at Naval Station Everett in Washington state, where the ship recently made its arrival.

Military Homecoming Everett

A young girl waves pom-poms during the guided-missile destroyer USS Barry’s arrival to its new homeport at Naval Station Everett, Washington, on March 17, 2023.

Welcome home, sailors! Thank you for your dedicated service to our country here at home and overseas.

 

Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is the author of the recently released Be Bold and co-author of Three Wise MenBrothers Forever8 Seconds of Courage and Fire in My Eyes. Follow Tom on Twitter @TSileo and The Stream at @Streamdotorg.

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