(NBC) – Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Tuesday that an American serviceman has been killed near Irbil in Iraq. Carter made the statement at the beginning of a news conference in Stuttgart, Germany where he has been consulting with European allies this week.
He provided no other details regarding the death.
“I’m getting some reports now that an American service member has been killed in Iraq in the neighborhood of Irbil. Again, these are preliminary reports, I don’t know much more than that, but I believe that much is true. And so our thoughts and prayers are with that service member’s family as we’re here in Stuttgart today. And as we learn more we’ll give you more information about that, but it shows that it’s a serious fight that we have to wage in Iraq – there are American service members involved, and that’s all I know at this time.”
A U.S. military official said the American was killed while performing his duty as an adviser to Kurdish Peshmerga troops. He was killed by “direct fire” after ISIS forces penetrated the Peshmerga’s forward line.
The Obama administration has been pressing the effort against ISIS, which has been slowed down in its quest to overrun Iraq.