– US NAVY SEAL KILLED IN IRAQ
– He was reportedly killed in a combat with IS fighters
A US Navy Seal serving as an advisor to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq has been killed by Islamic State (IS) militants, US defence officials have announced. According to the Navy Times, the unnamed special warfare operator died from gunshot injuries.
According to BBC, officials of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces reportedly announced that the militants breached the frontline north of the IS-held city of Mosul on Tuesday morning. The American Naval officer was the third to be killed in combat since the US-led coalition campaign against IS began in 2014.
Despite having being remarkably pushed back by Pro-government forces with the help of the US-led coalition, the jihadist group still controls large parts of the country’s north and west.
The death of the officer was reportedly announced by US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, who said only that a serviceman had died as a result of enemy fire near Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region.
US NAVY SEAL KILLED IN IRAQ
“It is a combat death, of course, and a very sad loss,” he was reported to have told reporters in Germany. Further information have however been provided on the situation that led to the death of the officer.
As reported by BBC, a US military official in Iraq subsequently said he was killed by “direct fire” at a Peshmerga position about 3 to 5km (2-3 miles) behind the frontline after it was penetrated by IS militants.
A Peshmerga spokesman, Maj Gen Jaber Yawer, reportedly told the Associated Press that the American was shot dead by an IS sniper near the town of Tal Asqof, about 28km (17 miles) from Mosul when IS militants overran the town at dawn on Tuesday in an assault that involved a number of truck bombs. The militants were later driven out by Peshmerga fighters.
An Iraqi military source told the BBC that Special Forces had foiled an attack by five suicide bombers in the village of Khirbirdan, south of Mosul.
There are more than 5,500 US military personnel in Iraq. Some 3,870 are deployed to advise and assist local forces fighting IS militants, BBC reported.
The remainder includes special operations personnel, logistics workers and troops on temporary rotations.