TRAGEDY

U.S. Service Member Dies From Blast in Syria

American forces have suffered its first fatality in anti-ISIS operations taking place in Syria, military officials announced Thursday evening.

The incident, which took place on Thanksgiving, occurred near Ayn Issa, north of ISIS' self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa. The service member died of wounds due to the blast. The service member is believed to be first American military casualty since the start of the anti-ISIS operation, The Washington Post reports.

There are several hundred American troops in Syria, serving primarily in a support role for Arab and Kurdish fighters seeking to uproot the so-called Islamic State.

"I am deeply saddened by the news on this Thanksgiving Day that one of our brave service members has been killed in Syria while protecting us from the evil of ISIL," Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said in a statement. "It is a painful reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face around the world to keep us safe."

The Pentagon has not yet released the name of the service member, which is customary to ensure proper notification of the service member's family.

-Tim Mak