The small, if not always totally certain number of US ground troops in Syria has meant they’ve mostly remained off the front lines, embedded with the Kurdish YPG. The first death among US soldiers in the country was reported today near Kurdish-held Ayn Issa, north of Raqqa.
The soldier was wounded in an IED blast near Ayn Issa, and did not survive. Centcom confirmed the incident but did not offer any particular details on what the soldier was doing at the time. Kurdish forces are advancing southward from Ayn Issa toward Raqqa, however.
While the first US military death in Syria, it’s also the second death in as many months in anti-ISIS offensives, with another soldier killed near northern Iraq’s city of Mosul. In similar fashion, that soldier was killed in a roadside bomb while embedded with Kurdish troops.
Exact numbers of US soldiers in Syria aren’t generally reported by the Pentagon, and whenbthey are, they are rarely accurate. The estimations are that a few hundred troops are in the country, overwhelmingly in the northwest.