Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Tuesday that an American serviceman has been killed near Irbil in Iraq.
“It is a combat death,” Carter said at the outset of a news in Stuttgart, Germany where he has been consulting with European allies this week.
The defense secretary provided no other details, other than to tell reporters that the serviceman lost his life “in the neighborhood of Irbil.”
“A Coalition service member was killed in northern Iraq as a result of enemy fire,” the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement. “Further information will be released as appropriate.”
The CENTCOM statement noted it is the policy of the military “to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.”
A U.S. military official said the American was killed while performing his duty as an adviser to Kurdish Peshmerga troops. He was killed by “direct fire” after Islamic State forces penetrated the Peshmerga’s forward line. The American was three to two to three miles behind that front line, the official said.