A Navy SEAL became the U.S.’s third casualty in the fight against ISIS, when he was killed by the terrorist organization this morning.
His name has been withheld, pending notification of his family.
The death occurred after ISIS launched an attack on Kurdish forces in Telskuf, 20 miles north of Mosul. A Kurdish official described it as “truck bombs supported by infantry.”
The attack began after hours of bombardment. From The Washington Post:
Maj. Gen. Azad Jalil, a peshmerga officer, said they breached Kurdish front lines with more than 10 car bombs, also using bulldozers to push through.
The peshmerga then made a “tactical retreat” to reorganize their forces, he said. Islamic State militants overran the village.
Brig. Gen. Bahnam Aboush, a fighter with the Christian militia based in the town and known as the Nineveh Plain Protection Units, said his men tried to hold their ground but were overwhelmed.
He said he witnessed the attack that mortally wounded the Navy SEAL, when a U.S. military contingent came to assist their struggling forces.
“American special forces came to rescue us in four vehicles,” he said. “They opened the way for us to retreat, then one of their vehicles was hit” with a rocket-propelled grenade.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest made this statement after the death was announced.
“Today’s incident is a vivid reminder of the risk our service members are taking, and three of them now have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”
Kurdish troops were able to regain control of the town later in the day with the aid of U.S. air strikes.
U.S. special forces have been operating in Iraq for nearly two years, advising Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers in the fight against ISIS. Fifteen other troops have been wounded, in addition to the three deaths.
[Via The Washington Post]