The Slatest

U.S. Service Member Reportedly Killed During Iraq Hostage Rescue

The town of Hawija in Iraq.

Screen shot/Google Maps

Update, 10:40 a.m.: The New York Times describes the service member who was killed as a “commando” and writes that the individual is “the first American soldier killed in action in Iraq since the withdrawal in 2011.”

Original post, 9:50 a.m.: Initial accounts out of Iraq say a U.S. service member has been killed in what is believed to be the first U.S. special forces operation against ISIS in that country. American and Kurdish special forces reportedly raided a prison near the town of Hawija, which is about 180 miles north of Baghdad, on Thursday; CBS says 70 Kurdish hostages were rescued and the New York Times says some “senior militants” were captured. CNN says it has confirmed similar details. Reports say the operation was supported by U.S. helicopters and airstrikes, and it’s not clear which branch of the service the individual who died belonged to.

At least one other American soldier’s death has been reported in Iraq since the escalation of ISIS violence there; a 19-year-old Marine from California named Sean Neal died in Baghdad in December 2014 in what was described as a noncombat incident.