Michigan soldier dies in Syria

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BEIRUT (AP/WILX) -- The Department of Defense has announced a soldier from metro Detroit has died in a non-combat incident in northern Syria.

U.S. Army Pfc. Michael Thomason, 28, of Lincoln Park, died Monday.

Amber Martinez tells WJBK-TV that her brother joined the Army so he could "help people" and "protect people who can't protect themselves."

Martinez says her family was told Thomason died in a shooting. She says she last spoke with him a few days earlier and he was supposed to be on patrol at the time of his death.

The Defense Department says he was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

The military has around 2,000 troops in northern Syria, where they have been or several years, helping local partners fight ISIS.

No other details about Thomason's death have been released.

The incident remains under investigation.

Copyright 2019 WILX. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.