3 Americans killed in Syria suicide blast identified

Three of the four Americans who were killed in a suicide blast near a U.S.-led coalition patrol in Syria were identified Friday.

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida, Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent, 35, of upstate New York and Defense Department civilian Scott A. Wirtz of St. Louis, Missouri, were all identified. The incident is being investigated.

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, was killed in Syria on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019.

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, was killed in Syria on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019.

Farmer has served on six overseas combat tours and has received numerous awards and decorations including the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart. He is survived by his spouse, four children and his parents.

US SERVICE MEMBERS KILLED IN SUICIDE BLAST IN SYRIA, OFFICIALS SAY 

Wirtz, 42, was an operations support specialist since February 2017, and served on multiple deployments. He served in the U.S. Navy and as a Navy SEAL. Military awards and decorations include the SEAL Insignia, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon and Pistol Expert Medal. His DIA awards include the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of this patriot,” said DIA Director Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley, Jr. “This is a stark reminder of the dangerous missions we conduct for the nation and of the threats we work hard to mitigate. As President Lincoln described on the fields at Gettysburg, this officer gave the last full measure of devotion”

Shannon M. Kent, 35, was killed in Syria on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. 

Shannon M. Kent, 35, was killed in Syria on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019.  (U.S. Navy)

The fourth American killed in the attack was an interpreter working for the Defense Department and his name wasn’t released.

The suicide attack hit near the main market in the northern city of Manbij. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blast, saying one of its members carried out the suicide attack and detonated his vest with explosives. The attack was the deadliest assault on U.S. troops in Syria since American forces went into the country in 2015.

Scott A. Wirtz was an operations support specialist since February 2017, and served on multiple deployments.

Scott A. Wirtz was an operations support specialist since February 2017, and served on multiple deployments. (Scott A. Wirtz)

Video of Wednesday's attack released by local activists and news agencies showed a restaurant that suffered extensive damage and a street covered with debris and blood. Several cars were also damaged. Another video showed a helicopter flying over the area. A security camera showed a busy street, and then a ball of fire engulfing people and others running for cover as the blast went off.

TRUMP TOUTS 'LONG OVERDUE' SYRIA PULLOUT, SAYS US 'WILL DEVASTATE TURKEY ECONOMICALLY' IF THEY ATTACK KURDS

Manbij is the main town on the westernmost edge of Syrian territory held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds, running along the border with Turkey. Mixed Kurdish-Arab Syrian forces liberated Manbij from ISIS in 2016 with the help from the U.S.-led coalition.

The attack prompted new complains about the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. President Trump announced last month that ISIS has been defeated and he was pulling about 2,000 American troops in Syria.

Not long after the attack Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence repeated claims of the Islamic State group's defeat. Speaking at the State Department, Pence said the "caliphate has crumbled" and the militant network "has been defeated." Later in the day he released a statement condemning the attack but affirming the withdrawal plan.

Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson, Katherine Lam and the Associated Press contributed to this report.