- Three U.S. Army Reserve soldiers were killed in a drone attack near the Syrian border in Jordan
- Soldiers identified: Sgt. William Rivers, 46; Spc. Kennedy Sanders, 24; Spc. Breonna Moffett, 23
- An incident occurred on Sunday when an unmanned drone targeted their housing units
- Soldiers were part of Operation Inherent Resolve, targeting operations against the Islamic State
Three Army Reserve Members Killed in Jordanian Drone Strike
On Monday, the Department of Defense revealed the names of three U.S. Army Reserve soldiers who lost their lives in a drone attack near the Syrian border in Jordan, allegedly carried out by Iran-backed militants.
The soldiers identified were Sgt. William Rivers, 46, from Willingboro, New Jersey; Spc. Kennedy Sanders, 24, from Waycross, Georgia; and Spc. Breonna Moffett, 23, from Savannah, Georgia. The incident occurred on Sunday when an unmanned attack drone targeted their housing units.
How Soldiers Were Killed?
These casualties mark the first instance of U.S. troops being killed by enemy fire in the Middle East since the commencement of the Israel-Hamas conflict on October 7. The number of wounded troops has risen to 40, with Deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh mentioning the possibility of an increase as more troops report symptoms.
Central Command reported that approximately 350 Army and Air Force personnel were sent to the base attacked on Sunday. The incident is currently being investigated.
Rivers, Sanders, and Moffett were members of the 718th Engineer Company, 926th Engineer Battalion, and 926th Engineer Brigade, stationed at Fort Moore, Georgia. In Jordan, they were involved in Operation Inherent Resolve, which focuses on targeted operations to combat the Islamic State terrorist group, as stated by the Defense Department.
Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels, the chief of the Army Reserve, expressed that the deaths of the soldiers have left an enduring impact on the United States Army Reserve. In a statement, Daniels mentioned, "These Citizen-Soldiers lost their lives in the line of duty on January 28, 2024, in Jordan."
Daniels further conveyed, "On behalf of the Army Reserve, I empathize with the grief felt by their friends, family, and loved ones. Their dedication and sacrifice will be remembered, and we are committed to providing support to those affected by this tragic event."
Sgt. William Rivers, 46
Rivers, who also lived in Carrollton, Georgia, joined the Army Reserve in 2011 and initially served with the 990th Engineer Company at Fort McGuire-Dix, N.J., as reported by the Army Reserve. Supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, Rivers completed a 9-month deployment to Iraq in 2018.
His accolades include the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, along with several other honors.
Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey expressed his intention to sign an executive order later this week to lower flags to half-staff in honor of Rivers. He conveyed sympathy for the soldiers' families and appreciation for the bravery and sacrifice of military members.
Spc. Kennedy Sanders, 24
Sanders joined the Army Reserve in 2019 and was initially assigned to the 381st Engineer Company in Tifton, Georgia. In 2021, Sanders undertook an 8-month deployment to Djibouti in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Her commendations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, along with various other awards.
On Monday, flags were lowered to half-staff in Sanders' hometown of Waycross, as reported by the Associated Press. According to her parents, Sanders' unit was initially deployed to Kuwait before she was stationed in Jordan.
Sanders's mother, Oneida Oliver-Sanders, shared that her daughter, a reservist, would practice jiu-jitsu and run to stay fit during her free time. Sanders found relaxation in knitting and made nearly daily calls back home.
The last conversation between the two occurred the day before Sanders' tragic death, as mentioned by Oliver-Sanders. Sanders had expressed thoughts about purchasing a motorcycle and had recently discussed plans to buy a home.
Oliver-Sanders reflected on the sudden loss, stating, "All of these different things that she had plans for, you know, were just cut short in the blink of an eye. I just feel like somebody like her, that’s so full of life, it’s unfair that she’ll never get to realize those dreams that she had."
Spc. Breonna Moffett, 23
Moffett joined the Army Reserve in 2019 right after finishing high school and was initially assigned to the 381st Engineer Company in Tifton, Georgia. She received accolades such as the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
Following the identification of Moffett on Monday, there was an outpouring of community reactions and condolences. Savannah Mayor Van Johnson expressed on Facebook that the soldiers were heroes.
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