US soldier killed in Iraq as IS launches attack
A US soldier has been killed near Erbil in Iraq, as the Islamic State group launches a new offensive against Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the region.
"A Coalition service member was killed in northern Iraq as a result of enemy fire," the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement.
A US military official said the US soldier was killed while performing his duty as an adviser to Kurdish Peshmerga troops in northern Iraq.
He was killed by "direct fire" after IS forces penetrated the Peshmerga's forward line. The American was between two and three miles behind the front line, the official said.
There are ongoing clashes on battlefronts between the cities of Mosul and Erbil, with IS militants using a large number of suicide bombers against Peshmerga forces.
The militants have also taken control of the town of Tel Saqf, north of Mosul, a Christian majority populated area.
The New Arab was informed that a US special unit was involved in the fighting.
Sources on the ground confirmed to The New Arab that US troops were fighting alongside the Peshmerga forces, with air support coming from the international coalition, to repel IS from the town.
Peshmerga fighters of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region have been heavily involved in the campaign against IS in northern Iraq.
The Obama administration has been pressing the effort against IS, which has been slowed down in its quest to overrun Iraq.
Vice President Joe Biden visited Baghdad last week to exhort leaders of the government in Iraq to resolve internal political strife and concentrate on the effort to defeat the Islamic State group.
Agencies contributed to this report