A US Navy SEAL was killed Tuesday morning when ISIS fighters infiltrated a Peshmerga position in Northern Iraq. The SEAL was advising Peshmerga fighters about three to five kilometers behind a forward line of troops when ISIS fighters attacked the position, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement. The SEAL, who has not yet been identified, is the third combat death in Operation Inherent Resolve. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said during a briefing Tuesday in Stuttgart, Germany, the death is a reminder of the dangers troops face in the conflict. “It’s a serious fight that we have to wage in Iraq,” he said. The US-led coalition responded with fighters, bombers, attack, ground-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft strikes to counter the ISIS attack, according to the Pentagon.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.