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IS fighters break through Kurdish defenses

Brandon ConradisMay 3, 2016

'IS' fighters have regained ground after breaking through Kurdish defenses near the city of Mosul in Iraq. An American Navy SEAL was reportedly killed in the fighting.

IS fighters
Image: picture alliance/ZUMA Press/Medyan Dairieh

The member of the United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land (SEAL) team has not yet been identified. He was killed by gunfire as members of the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) terrorist organization attacked Kurdish fighters in Iraq.

The US servicemember is at least the third reported member of the US military to be killed since Washington launched its coalition against IS in Summer 2014. The casualty was announced on Tuesday by US Defense Secretary Ash Carter in Stuttgart, Germany, where he has met with European allies to discuss ways to defeat the IS terror group.

Iraq: No end to crisis in sight

The Pentagon would not confirm many details of the attack but said that it occurred early on Tuesday morning in Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. The city was taken by IS during the summer of 2014.

US military forces have been advising members of the Kurdish Peshmerga in an effort to beat back IS. More than 4,000 US forces are currently deployed in Iraq.

Last week, Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Baghdad, aimed at encouraging a resolution to the political crisis that has engulfed the country and hindered its fight against terrorism.

However, Biden's trip was soon overshadowed by mass demonstrations in the city's Green Zone - the heavily fortified compound that once housed US occupation forces - in protest against government corruption.

blc/jm (Reuters, AP, AFP)