first published on May 3, 2016 by Will
A U.S. serviceman, whose branch and identity are yet to be released, has been killed by hostile, direct fire during a gun battle with Islamic State militants in the Kurdish city of Erbil (reports on location are conflicting) in northern Iraq on Tuesday.
The fallen troop is the third U.S. serviceman to be killed by ISIS forces in Iraq since October. The Pentagon made sure to hammer out public relations talking points as some sort of damage control, reiterating that the troop was “advising and assisting” friendly forces rather than taking part in offensive operations, and that he was killed 2-3 miles behind friendly lines. Coalition air power responded with 23 strikes to crush the attacking insurgent forces.
Tuesday saw some of the most intense and large-scale attacks by ISIS across northern Iraq in months. Suicide bombers struck on multiple fronts, and an Islamic State unit was able to capture a Christian town near Mosul, briefly, before being pushed back by a local militia with the help of U.S. airstrikes. The battles are still ongoing.
The current reports of the troop’s death are conflicting. Some publications say he was killed in the town of Erbil, while others say he was killed 20 miles north of Mosul, which would put his death somewhere in or near the Christian town that was temporarily held by ISIS during their offensive.