An American service member, part of the coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq, was killed near Irbil on Tuesday. The U.S. Navy SEAL was reportedly killed by "enemy fire."
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter confirmed the death of the US serviceman, according to Reuters. "It is a combat death, of course. And a very sad loss," Carter said. He gave no details about the serviceman.
The slain serviceman, identified as Charlie Keating IV, is the third Amercian to be killed in combat as part of the U.S.-led coalition that started a campaign in 2014 to "degrade and destroy" ISIS.
"He was not on the front lines. But he was two miles away, and it turns out that being two miles away from the front lines between Iraqi forces and ISIL is a very dangerous place to be," White House spokesman Josh Earnest reportedly said.
The US Special Operations team, comprising mainly the elite Delta Force commandos, had begun ground operations in Iraq earlier this year, and had also captured senior ISIS operatives.
Carter had said last month that the U.S. would send 217 more troops to Iraq in a bid to defeat the Islamic State group, which will bring the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq to 4,087, according to NBC News.
Terror attacks and violence in Iraq has claimed scores of lives this year, including hundreds of civilians.