MOSUL, Iraq — A Coronado-based Navy SEAL was killed in Iraq as a result of enemy fire about thirty kilometers north of Mosul, FOX 5 learned Tuesday.
[UPDATE] The Defense Department is withholding his name, but sources told FOX 5 that his name was Charlie Keating. A Facebook post by one of Keating’s friends corroborated his death.
“Charlie, a Navy Seal on a dangerous mission in Iraq, was shot and killed last night.,” according to the post by Robert Whitley.
The SEAL was an adviser to Kurdish Peshmerga forces that are fighting ISIS and was killed during an ISIS assault “on a Peshmerga position approximately three to five kilometers behind the forward line of troops,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said Tuesday in a statement.The Pentagon will provide additional information on the service member’s identity after next of kin have been notified.
The U.S. responded with F-15s and drones which dropped more than 20 bombs, according to a U.S. official.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter confirmed the reports Tuesday while speaking to reporters in Germany, adding that the death shows “it’s a serious fight that we have to wage in Iraq.”
Cook added: “This sad news is a reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face every day in the ongoing fight to destroy ISIL and end the threat the group poses to the United States and the rest of the world. Our coalition will honor this sacrifice by dealing ISIL a lasting defeat.”
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Obama has been briefed on the death.
“Everyone extends condolences to service member killed,” Earnest said at his daily briefing with reporters, adding that it’s a reminder of the risks Americans continue to face even in advisory roles there.
The death is the third U.S. combat casualty since the U.S. redeployed forces to Iraq in the summer of 2014 to adviser local forces and conduct special operations against ISIS.
Marine Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin was killed in March in a rocket attack on a U.S. base in northern Iraq. And an October 2015 rescue mission in northern Iraq had previously claimed the first American casualty, U.S. Army Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler.