A soldier from Utah has been killed in an accident in Syria. Sgt. Bryan Cooper Mount, 25, from St. George died in a “vehicle rollover accident while conducting reconnaissance operations” in eastern Syria, according to the Department of Defense.
The accident is under investigation, but it was “not due to enemy contact.”
Mount was in Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, one of several hundred U.S. troops who remain in Syria and Iraq battling the remnants of ISIS. According to the DOD, there have been nine deaths this year among troops assigned to the operation — four combat deaths (all in Iraq) and five non-combat deaths.
Mount joined the Army in Jan. 2016. He was assigned to 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, which is based in Fort Bragg, N.C.
The 82nd’s commander, Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, called Mount “a true American hero” in a statement issued Thursday. The Utahn “was a three-time volunteer on his second combat deployment and his loss will be deeply felt across our entire formation. He was a husband, son, brother and leader who was adored by everyone who knew him. Our sole focus now is providing unyielding support to Cooper’s family.”
Mount is survived by his wife and his parents.
In a statement, Gov. Gary Herbert called Mount “a true example of willing service to our nation. Today, we join all Utahns in honoring his sacrifice and grieving with his family. A life of kindness, love and friendship is one well-lived no matter the length of time. He was a dedicated soldier, husband, son and friend to all those with whom he served. Our hearts are with his family, friends and loved ones at this very difficult time. They will long be in our prayers.”
Sen. Mitt Romney tweeted that he is “deeply saddened” by Mount’s death. And Capt. Reid Jacobson, commander Bravo Troop, 1-73 Cav, said in a statement. “Bryan was just one of those dependable paratroopers everyone looked up to and relied upon.”