Pentagon Identifies Soldier, Sailor, And DoD Civilian Killed In Syria


The Defense Department has identified two U.S. service members and a Defense Department civilian, who were killed by an ISIS suicide bomber Wednesday in Manbij, Syria. A Defense Department contractor was also killed in the blast.

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent, and Defense Department civilian Scott A. Wirtz were killed, a Pentagon news release says.

Farmer, 37, was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He joined the Army in 2005 and was on his sixth combat tour, a U.S. Army Special Operations Command news release says. He deployed to Iraq five times and to Afghanistan once. His military awards include the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart.

He is survived by his wife and four children, the news release says.

Kent, 35, was assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, based at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. She joined the Navy in 2003 and became a chief petty officer in August 2012, according to her military record. Her military awards include the Iraq Campaign Medal, Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon, and Pistol Marksmanship ribbon.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and teammates of Chief Petty Officer Kent during this extremely difficult time. She was a rock star, an outstanding chief petty officer, and leader to many in the Navy Information Warfare Community," Cmdr. Joseph Harrison, Commanding Officer of Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, said in a news release.

Wirtz was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency as an operations support specialist. He is a former SEAL, who spent 10 years in the Navy, leaving the service as a petty officer first class, according to his DIA biography. He joined the DIA in February 2017 and made three deployments to the Middle East with the agency.

Defense officials have not released much information about the circumstances surrounding their deaths. Army Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq and Syria, said all four Americans were "conducting a routine patrol in Syria" when the explosion occurred.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence paid tribute to the four Americans killed while speaking Thursday at the Pentagon.

"I want to take a moment to express my deepest condolences to the families of the brave American heroes who laid down their lives yesterday in selfless service to our nation – these are great people; great, great people." Trump said. "We will never forget their noble and immortal sacrifice."

Trump has ordered the withdrawal of all U.S. troops in Syria, but is unclear how long that will take.

"Today, along with all of you, our hearts and our prayers are with the families of the fallen American heroes who were lost in Syria yesterday as well as those service members who were wounded," Pence said Thursday at the Pentagon. "We honor their service and we will honor the memory of the fallen.

"Their families and our armed forces should know: Their sacrifice will only steel our resolve that as we begin to bring our troops home we will do so in a way that ensures that the remnants of ISIS will never be able to reestablish their evil and murderous caliphate."

SEE ALSO: Sen. Lindsey Graham Suggests Trump's Abrupt Syria Withdrawal 'Set In Motion' Deadly ISIS Attack On US Troops

WATCH NEXT: President Trump Discusses Syria

A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.

It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.

Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.

Read More Show Less

No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.

Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.

"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.

Read More Show Less
A projectile is fired during North Korea's missile tests in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 28, 2019. (KCNA via Reuters)

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.

The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.

Read More Show Less

Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.

In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.

"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.

Read More Show Less
Erik Prince arrives for the New York Young Republican Club Gala at The Yale Club of New York City in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., November 7, 2019. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.

Read More Show Less