- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 22, 2015

At least one U.S. military member has been killed in Iraq where U.S. special operations forces were involved in a raid to rescue Kurdish hostages from an Islamic State stronghold overnight.

In a statement released Thursday, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the service member was wounded during the rescue mission after troops came under fire by the Islamic State militants.

“He subsequently died after receiving medical care,” Mr. Cook said. “In addition, four peshmerga soldiers were wounded.”

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This is the first known combat fatality on the ground in the war against the Islamic State terrorist group.

“On behalf of the men and women of the Department of Defense, we offer our sincere condolences to the family of the U.S. service member who was killed in this operation,” Mr. Cook said. “The U.S. and our coalition will continue to work with our Iraqi partners to degrade and defeat ISIL, and return Iraq to the full control of its people.”

U.S. Special Forces on Wednesday supported Iraqi peshmerga in an operation to rescue 70 Kurdish hostages at the request of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement.

“This operation was deliberately planned and launched after receiving information that the hostages faced imminent mass execution,” Mr. Cook said.

The operation took place in Hawija in norther Iraq where Kurdish fighters were being held captive in an Islamic State controlled compound.

More than 20 of the 70 hostages rescued were members of the Iraqi Security Forces, Mr. Cook said.

Five Islamic State militants were detained during the operation and a number were killed as well.

A White House official described the rescue mission to NBC News as “successful” and as an example of “collaboration” between U.S.-led coalition forces and peshmerga fighters versus the Islamic State.

In a statement U.S. Central Command commander Gen. Lloyd Austin said, “We commend and congratulate the brave individuals who participated in this successful operation that saved many lives, despite the casualty.”

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