American Woman Nicole Lynn Mansfield Killed in Syria Firefight

ABC News
American Woman Nicole Lynn Mansfield Killed in Syria Firefight
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American Woman Nicole Lynn Mansfield Killed in Syria Firefight (ABC News)

An American woman killed in a Syrian firefight and labeled a terrorist by the Syrian government was identified today as Nicole Lynn Mansfield, a Muslim convert from Michigan.

Mansfield's body was recovered following fighting near the rebellious Syrian city of Idlib. According to Syrian state media, she was wearing a head scarf and was found with a Michigan driver's license and U.S. passport on her. Photographs of those documents were released by the Syrian regime.

Mansfield's grandmother Carol Mansfield confirmed to ABC News that the woman had been killed in Syria.

Mansfield, 33, is from Flint, Mich., and converted to Islam several years ago after marrying an Arab man, her grandmother told ABC News. The couple divorced, but Mansfield continued to wear a Muslim head scarf, and had previously traveled to the region three years ago when visiting Dubai.

Mansfield is the first American to be killed in the conflict. Her body was found alongside a British national, U.K. authorities confirmed.

Her father Gregory Mansfield "spoke to the State Department in the afternoon yesterday. He was in denial," the grandmother, Carol Mansfield, said.

Carol Mansfield said she last saw her grandaughter in December and believed she went to Syria to help "settle the problems of the world." She added that the Mansfield family "are true blooded Americans."

Family members told the Detroit Free Press they had been interviewed by the FBI for several hours.

"I'm sick over it," Mansfield's aunt Monica Speelman told the paper. "I didn't think she was [a terrorist,] but God only knows."

Syria is embroiled in a bloody civil war, pitting the regime of President Bashar al Assad against a loose-knit network of rebels, some of whom have been tied to foreign terror groups including al Qaeda.

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