While the US-backed Iraqi forces won’t even reach the city of Mosul for at least a couple of weeks, the operation already has its first US death, with a soldier embedded with the Kurdish Peshmerga killed in a roadside bombing attack just north of Mosul.
Exact details on the location are unclear, but the soldier’s vehicle hit the bomb planted in the road, and it detonated. He died later of his wounds. Pentagon officials have described there being around 100 US troops embedded with Iraqi security forces around Mosul.
But the Pentagon figure, as always, is misleading, with indications that as many as 300 US troops are embedded in the area, and that the official figure only counts the ones with Iraq’s own army, and not those embedded with the Peshmerga or with other factions.
The soldier killed today is the fourth US soldier to die in the ISIS war in Iraq. Officials have often struggled with a narrative in which no US troops are on the front lines, or in combat, but that they have more than once been killed or wounded in front line combat.
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