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IED Blast Kills an American Service Member in Syria

A U.S. service member died from wounds sustained in an improvised explosive device's blast in Syria on Thursday.

"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," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement.

The soldier's name has not been disclosed, but he or she was near Ayn Issa in northern Syria when the explosive detonated, according to a Pentagon statement. The service member was part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S. military operation combating ISIS in Syria and northern Iraq. A senior U.S. defense official says at least one American service member was injured in this attack as well.

There are up to 300 American service members operating in Syria at any given time.

"It is a painful reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face around the world to keep us safe," Carter added. "Please keep this service member's family, friends and teammates in your thoughts and prayers, and this Thanksgiving I hope you will join me in expressing thanks to all of our dedicated troops who selflessly protect us everyday."

The commander of the Combined Joint Task Force in charge of Operation Inherent Resolve also offered his sympathies.

"The entire counter-ISIL Coalition sends our condolences to this hero's family, friends and teammates," said Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend in a statement. "On this Thanksgiving, please be thankful that there are service members willing to take up the fight to protect our homeland from ISIL's hateful and brutal ideology."