The Pentagon has confirmed two US soldiers were killed and five others wounded today in “combat operations” in Iraq. Details of exactly what happened remain unclear, with the Pentagon not offering any formal details beyond “combat.”
ISIS seems like they’d be a likely culprit, however, and they took credit, saying they’d fired on the US troops east of Tal Afar, using Grad rockets against them. Both Iraq and Syria have Grad rockets in their arsenals, so it wouldn’t be surprising for ISIS to have looted them from either force.
The Pentagon appeared to be vague on this, however, saying they don’t think the deaths were due to “enemy contact,” despite saying the deaths were in the course of combat operations. Later statements claimed the deaths were due to a “mishap.” This brings the number of US soldiers confirmed killed in the ISIS combat operations to seven.
That’s not a vast number, compared to some other US wars, but is quite a few considering repeated US assurances that the ISIS war would see “no boots on the ground,” and repeated assurances since then that the troops on the ground are purely advisory, and “non-combat.”