The U.S. Navy SEAL killed in an ISIS attack in northern Iraq has been identified as Charles Keating IV, his family confirmed.
Keating was killed in a “coordinated and complex attack” by roughly 100 ISIS fighters, the Pentagon said Tuesday. The 31-year-old is the third American combat casualty in the past seven months. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook confirmed Keating was an adviser to Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting ISIS, CNN reports:
ISIS used multiple vehicles, suicide car bombs and bulldozers to break through a checkpoint at the front line and drive 3 to 5 kilometers (1.9 to 3.1 miles) to the Peshmerga base where SEALs are temporarily visiting and were located as advisers, a U.S. defense official told CNN. The gun battle was around the town of Telskof in northern Iraq, the official added.
The U.S. responded with F-15s and drones that dropped more than 20 bombs, according to a U.S. official.
“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,” Cook said, using another term for ISIS.
On Tuesday, cousin Elizabeth Ann Keating told CNN the young SEAL was “our family hero in every sense of the word.”
President Barack Obama has been briefed on the incident.
“Everyone extends condolences to the family of the service member that was killed today in northern Iraq,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters during a daily briefing.