01:41 - Source: CNN
CNN's Clarissa Ward: Americans were targeted
CNN —  

The Department of Defense has identified three of the four Americans killed in Syria on Wednesday, and the fourth, a contractor, was named by her company.

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida; Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon M. Kent, 35, of upstate New York; and DOD civilian Scott A. Wirtz of St. Louis, Missouri were killed Wednesday in the explosion in Manbij, Syria, according to the Department of Defense.

All three died “as a result of wounds sustained from a suicide improvised explosive device,” according to the military.

The fourth individual was identified in a statement from a spokesperson for her company, Valiant, as Ghadir Taher of East Point, Georgia.

“We are extremely saddened by the tragic and senseless passing of Ghadir Taher. … She was a talented and highly-respected colleague loved by many who will be dearly missed,” said Tom Becker, the head of the New York office for Sitrick and Co., which does public relations for Valiant.

Taher worked as an interpreter for the Army through Valiant, according to her brother Ali Taher.

“She loved what she did. She was very passionate,” he told CNN on Friday. “She said it was hard, but she was good at and it and very happy doing it.”

Shannon M. Kent, 35, who was killed Jan. 16, 2019, in Manbij, Syria, while assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, supporting Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Navy/Released)
Family Handout/U.S. Navy
Shannon M. Kent, 35, who was killed Jan. 16, 2019, in Manbij, Syria, while assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, supporting Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Navy/Released)

Kent was a sailor assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, based at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. Farmer served on six overseas combat tours and was a decorated soldier awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida died of wounds sustained during an attack while conducting a local engagement in Manbij, Syria, January 16, 2019.
Courtesy Department of Defense
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida died of wounds sustained during an attack while conducting a local engagement in Manbij, Syria, January 16, 2019.

Wirtz, a former US Navy SEAL, was an intelligence expert in Syria with the troops hoping to collect information about security and adversaries in the area.

The bombing is still under investigation.

CNN reported Thursday that the US initial assessment is that ISIS is responsible for the bombing.

The explosion in the northern city of Manbij Wednesday killed the four Americans and at least 10 other people. Eight civilians and two fighters from the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces were killed in the blast, a senior commander from the Manbij military council told CNN.

The US-led coalition Operation Inherent Resolve said Wednesday that the service members were “conducting a routine patrol” at the time of the explosion. Three other US service members were injured in the attack.

The attack came less than a month after President Donald Trump announced that US troops would withdraw from Syria.

This story has been updated.

CNN’s Sophie Tatum contributed to this report.