The U.S. service member killed in an apparent insider attack on Saturday has been identified as Maj. Brent Taylor, a member of the Utah National Guard and the mayor of North Ogden, Utah.
Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox initially identified the 39-year-old soldier in a Facebook post on Sunday, the Associated Press reports. Taylor had served as mayor of North Ogden, population 17,000, since 2013.
"Devastating news. North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor was killed today while serving in Afghanistan," Cox wrote. "I hate this. I'm struggling for words. I love Mayor Taylor, his amazing wife Jennie and his seven sweet kids. Utah weeps for them today. This war has once again cost us the best blood of a generation. We must rally around his family."
Taylor, who deployed to Afghanistan in January and was working closely with personnel assigned to the Afghan National Army Commando Corps, was on his fouth tour there, according to the Associated Press. He had previously served two tours in Iraq.
"Right now there is a need for my experience and skills to serve in our nation's long-lasting war in Afghanistan," Taylor told local media during his deployment, per the AP. "President Trump has ordered an increase in troops, and part of the new strategy focuses on expanding the capabilities of the Afghan commando units."
Insider attacks have claimed the lives of more than 150 U.S. service members in Afghanistan since the start of the war there. Taylor's death marks the fourth death by an insider attack there this year.
Vice President Mike Pence repeated President Donald Trump's claim that "ISIS has been defeated" in Syria on Wednesday just hours after several U.S. service members were killed by an ISIS suicide bomber in Manbij, Syria.
Soldiers, family and community gathered in Morehead City to render honors and witness the transfer and memorial of U.S. Army Sgt James Slape Nov. 9-11, 2018. Slape will hold a temporary resting place in Morehead City before ultimately moving to Arlington Cemetery. Slape supported Operations Resolute Support and Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt Leticia Samuels, North Carolina National Guard)
An ISIS suicide bomber killed four Americans in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday.
Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., center, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, are disagreeing with President Donald Trump's sudden decision to pull all 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Lindsey Graham essentially laid the deaths of the unknown number of U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday at the feet of President Donald Trump during a hearing on Capitol Hill, Bloomberg News reports.