By Debbie Gregory.
Master Sgt. Jonathan Dunbar, 36, of Austin, Texas, was killed near Manbij, Syria on March 30th by an improvised explosive device.
A member of the Army’s elite Delta Force, Dunbar was on a mission to kill or capture a member of the Islamic State terrorist group.
In recent weeks, Manbij has seen an assassination attempt against a senior Kurdish official on the highway outside the town and a number of small explosions. Authorities imposed a curfew after 11 p.m., and in recent days barred motorcycles from moving around the town after sunset.
Few details about the mission on which Dunbar and a British soldier were killed have been released so far.
Dunbar’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (third award), the Army Commendation Medal (fourth award), the Army Achievement Medal (sixth award), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Pathfinder Badge, the Military Freefall Jumpmaster Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.
Dunbar is the fourth American service member to die in Syria since the U.S. began attacking Islamic State group militants there in September 2014, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Casualty Analysis System.
The others were Air Force Staff Sgt. Austin Bieren, whose death was specifically labeled by the Pentagon as noncombat related; Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott C. Dayton, who was killed by an improved explosive device; and Army Spc. Etienne J. Murphy, who died in a vehicle rollover.