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Fourth Service Member Dies From November IED Blast In Afghanistan
A fourth service member has died as a result of a Nov. 27 roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan, officials announced on Monday.
- Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary, of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, died on Sunday from wounds he received from the improvised explosive device explosion in Ghazni Province, a Defense Department news release says.
- McClary, 24, was originally from Export, Pennsylvania. His military awards include two Purple Hearts, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor, Army Commendation Medal (Combat), Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Combat Infantry Badge, and Air Assault Badge.
- “The Rock battalion expresses its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends tragically affected by the loss of Sgt. Jason McClary,” Lt. Col. Christopher Roberts, commander of 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, said in a news release. “He epitomizes what it is to be a professional, a warrior and a soldier. Sgt. McClary served honorably as an up-armored vehicle gunner for the Attack Company. His memory and contributions will never be forgotten."
- Three other U.S. troops were killed on Nov. 27: Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29; Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39; and Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, 25.
- Ross and Emond were both Green Berets assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Ross was on his second deployment and Emond was on his seventh. Both men were posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal.
- Elchin was a combat controller with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. He was the first special operations airman killed in Afghanistan since 2015, Air Force magazine reported.
- Two other service members and an American contractor were wounded by the explosion. A total of 14 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan in 2018.
UPDATE: This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 3 with more information about Sgt. McClary.
Retired Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen has died 10 years after he was shot in the head while searching for deserter Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.
Allen died on Saturday at the age of 46, according to funeral information posted online.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Most of the U.S. troops in Syria are being moved out of the country as Turkish forces and their Arab allies push further into Kurdish territory than originally expected, Task & Purpose has learned.
Roughly 1,000 U.S. troops are withdrawing from Syria, leaving a residual force of between 100 and 150 service members at the Al Tanf garrison, a U.S. official said.
"I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday's edition of CBS News' "Face the Nation."'
More than 700 women and children affiliated with ISIS escape Kurdish prison camp after Turkish shelling
BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Women affiliated with Islamic State and their children fled en masse from a camp where they were being held in northern Syria on Sunday after shelling by Turkish forces in a five-day-old offensive, the region's Kurdish-led administration said.
Turkey's cross-border attack in northern Syria against Kurdish forces widened to target the town of Suluk which was hit by Ankara's Syrian rebel allies. There were conflicting accounts on the outcome of the fighting.
Turkey is facing threats of possible sanctions from the United States unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its NATO allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports to Turkey. The Arab League has denounced the operation.
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is warning that it's "absolutely a given" that ISIS will come back if the U.S. doesn't keep up pressure on the group, just one week after President Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from northern Syria.
"It's in a situation of disarray right now. Obviously the Kurds are adapting to the Turkish attacks, and we'll have to see if they're able to maintain the fight against ISIS," Mattis said in an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press," set to air on Sunday. "It's going to have an impact. The question is how much?"