JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. – President Donald Trump greeted Saturday to the four Americans who were killed in a suicide bombing attack in Syria this week as he went to Dover Air Force Base for the return of their remains.
The tour was not noted on the President's public schedule released on Friday night, but he tweeted the news before his Saturday morning departure from the White House.
"Will be going to Dover to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives to the service of our country!" He wrote.
The visit comes under a budget struggle that has consumed Washington in the past month, diverting parts of the federal government and leaving hundreds of thousands of workers without pay. Trump planned a message later on Saturday, which was expected to outline an agreement, white house hopes could pave the way for the end of the interruption.
The Islamic state group has assumed responsibility for Wednesday's attack in the northern Syrian city of Manbij, which a month after Trump declared that the militants had been defeated and that he revoked US forces from the country. [1
The bombing, which also injured three US troops, was the deadly attack on US forces in Syria as they entered the country in 2015.
At least 16 people were killed and the dead had included a number of fighters with the Syrian democratic forces that have fought with the Americans against IS. The Pentagon has identified three of the four Americans killed:
-Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, from Boynton Beach, Florida, based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
-Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretative) Shannon M. Kent, 35, Pine Plains, New York, and based in Fort Meade, Maryland.
– civilian Scott A. Wirtz from St. Louis.
The Pentagon has not identified the fourth accident, a civilian contractor.
During a Thursday visit to the Ministry of Defense, Trump quoted the fallen as he expressed his "deepest condolences to the brave American heroes' families who yesterday put their lives in selfless service to our nation." He called them "great, great people. We will never forget their noble and immortal sacrifice." Trump has made another visit to Dover during his presidency shortly after taking his position. On February 1, 2017, Trump honored the recurring remnants of a US Navy SEAL killed in a raid in Yemen. Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens, a 36-year-old from Peoria, Illinois, was the first known US combat accident since Trump became president.
In the past month, Trump and others have proven to adjust Syria's pullout timeline, and US officials have suggested it will probably take several months to safely withdraw US forces from Syria.
In a 19-dec tweet announcing the withdrawal, Trump had said, "We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason to be there during the Trump presidency." He said the troops would start coming home " Now, this plan triggered immediate recall from military leaders and led to the withdrawal of Secretary of State Jim Mattis.
When discussing the withdrawal decision, Trump has repeatedly spoken of how much he does not like to call and write letters to the families of those killed while serving abroad.
"It's time to get our soldiers out and it's time to get our young peers up," Trump said during a Christmas visit to Ayn al-Asad Airbase is an Iraqi. "I don't like sending these letters home to parents and saying that your young man or your young woman has been killed. … We've done it long enough."
Manbij is the main city on the westernmost edge of the Syrian territory detained by the US-backed Syrian Kurds running along the border with Turkey. Mixed Kurdish-Arab Syrian forces liberated Manbij from IS in 2016 with the help of the US-led coalition.
But Kurdish control of the city disturbed Turkey, which considers the main American Kurdish ally, the YPG militia, as "terrorists" to Kurdish rebels on its own land.
Trump strengthened his withdrawal decision during a meeting with about fifty GOP senators late Wednesday in the White House.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who was at the meeting, told reporters at a conference call that the president was "stuck" in his decision not to stay in Syria – or Afghanistan – "forever." But the senator did not reveal the recent thinking of
Paul said that Trump told the group: "We will not continue the way we have done it."