A U.S. service member died from “suspected natural causes” in Northern Syria, March 29, 2017, according to a press release.
At the beginning of the month, the U.S. sent an additional 400 troops to Syria, including a team of Army Rangers and a Marine artillery unit. U.S. and Russian forces are both backing Kurdish YPG fighters as they take on ISIS in Syria and in neighboring Iraq.
It isn’t known exactly how many Americans are fighting on the ground although the figure is believed to be under 1,000. The formal troop cap for troops in Syria is 503, but commanders have the authority to temporarily exceed that limit to meet military requirements.
Army Lt. Gen. Steven Townsend, the commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, told reporters earlier this month that all the forces in Syria “have converged literally within hand-grenade range of one another.”
It is not clear what branch of service the service member who died is part of or which unit he/she was assigned.
It is Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.