The first American soldier to die in combat against the IS group in Iraq has been identified as Master Sgt Joshua L. Wheeler, coalition officials said Monday.
Army Col. Steve Warren said Wheeler, 39, was killed a day earlier when he and dozens of U.S. special operations troops and Iraqi forces raided a compound near Kirkuk, freeing approximately 70 Iraqi prisoners from captivity, Haaretz said.
US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said he expected more raids of the sort, which he said had provided large amounts of intelligence for the coalition fighting Islamic State militants in the region.
Carter said he decided on the rescue mission after intelligence showed executions were imminent, including a grave that had been dug for the bodies. He said the body of the American soldier killed in the mission will be returned home on Saturday.
The Department of Defense said Wheeler died from wounds caused by small-arms fire during the operation. A native of Roland, Oklahoma, Wheeler is the first American to die in combat since the US launched Operation Inherent Resolve, its campaign against the Islamic State group, last year. His identity was initially withheld pending notification of relatives.
https://i1.wp.com/www.people24x7.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2400.jpg?fit=620%2C372https://i1.wp.com/www.people24x7.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2400.jpg?resize=150%2C150Staff ReporterHOT NEWS
The first American soldier to die in combat against the IS group in Iraq has been identified as Master Sgt Joshua L. Wheeler, coalition officials said Monday. Army Col. Steve Warren said Wheeler, 39, was killed a day earlier when he and dozens of U.S. special operations troops and Iraqi...