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American Killed Fighting ISIS in Iraq Was Navy SEAL

American Killed Fighting ISIS in Iraq Was Navy SEAL

By    |   Tuesday, 03 May 2016 11:40 AM

A U.S. Navy SEAL has been killed in the fight against Islamic State in Iraq, the Navy Times confirmed Tuesday.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who announced the death in a news conference in  Stuttgart, Germany, did not identify the man's unit, but described it as a "combat death." Carter r provided no other details.

It was not immediately clear when the serviceman, died but Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said he was killed near Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city that has been in the hands of ISIS militants since they overran large swaths of northern and western Iraq in the summer of 2014.

"A Coalition service member was killed in northern Iraq as a result of enemy fire," the U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, said in a statement. "Further information will be released as appropriate." The statement noted the military's the policy "to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities."

Meanwhile, a U.S. military official in Iraq said the American was killed while performing his duty as an adviser to the Kurdish peshmerga troops.

Reuters, citing a defense official, also idntified the serviceman as a Navy SEAL, saying he was killed when ISIS forces overran Kurdish defenses in northern Iraq.

The soldier was killed by "direct fire" after ISIS forces penetrated the peshmerga forces' forward line, the official said. The American was three to two to three miles behind that front line, the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Vice President Joe Biden visited Baghdad last week to exhort leaders of the government in Iraq to resolve internal political strife and concentrate on the effort to defeat the ISIS.

Carter, likewise, visited Baghdad recently. The Obama administration has been pressing the effort against ISIS, which has been slowed down in its quest to overrun Iraq.

Carter presided earlier at a ceremony installing a new commander of U.S. European Command, Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti.

This is the third death of a U.S. service member since the U.S.-led coalition's operation against the ISIS began in the Summer of 2014.

The last killing of a U.S. service member in Iraq was in March, when a U.S. Marine stationed at Makhmour base outside the IS-held city of Mosul was killed by an ISIS rocket attack.

The first U.S. service member killed in Iraq was a special operations solider killed in a firefight in October 2015 during a raid on an Islamic State group prison.

The Associated Press and Reuters were used in this report.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday that an American serviceman has been killed in Iraq, describing it as a combat death.
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Tuesday, 03 May 2016 11:40 AM
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