Two U.S. service members were killed on Sunday while on a mission to take out an ISIS stronghold in Iraq.
Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve confirmed on Monday that the two service members were killed by enemy forces while on a joint mission with the Iraqi Security Forces to clear the stronghold located in the mountains of central Iraq.
It’s not yet clear which branch(es) the service members were a part of. Their identities are withheld for 24 hours until next of kin notification.
The CJTF – OIR coalition has reclaimed 42,471 square miles of territory from ISIS and freed 7.7 million people from the terror group’s oppressive hold, according to the coalition’s February report.
The coalition has also conducted 34,763 strikes between August 2014 and December 2019.
The deaths are the first U.S. deaths to occur during combat in Iraq so far this year. The last combat death took place in August 2019.
At that time, Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer was killed by enemy fire while fighting alongside Iraqi Security Forces in Ninewah Province. Koppenhafer was a Marine Raider with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command.