Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott Cooper Dayton. Photo: US Navy/handout
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – In a press release on Friday, the US Department of Defense identified Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott Cooper Dayton who was killed near Ayn Issa on Thursday, marking the first US service member to have been killed in combat in Syria.
Dayton, 42, of Woodbridge, Virginia, entered the US Navy in 1993. He was assigned to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit as part of Operation Inherent Resolve in the fight against ISIS. He had previously received a Bronze Star, one of the highest US military honors, for “heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.”
Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, acknowledged on Thursday that a US service member had died from wounds sustained in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in the vicinity of Ayn Issa in northern Syria.
“The entire counter-ISIL Coalition sends our condolences to this hero's family, friends and teammates," said Townsend. "On this Thanksgiving, please be thankful that there are service members willing to take up the fight to protect our homeland from ISIL's hateful and brutal ideology."
Ayn Issa is located about 40 kilometers northwest of Raqqa.
“Condolences to CJTFOIR for the death of US soldier near Raqqa,” Qubad Talabani, the Kurdistan Regional Government Deputy Prime Minister, wrote Thursday on Twitter. “On Thanksgiving Day we're thankful for sacrifices of the US and Coalition.”