An American service member was killed by “direct fire” during combat against ISIS forces in Iraq, a U.S. military official told the Associated Press.
The deadly attack happened near Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. The service member was a Navy SEAL, later identified as Charlie Keating IV, of Arizona. He died while performing his duty as an adviser to the Kurdish Peshmerga troops.
The Keating was two to three miles behind the Peshmerga front line when ISIS forces reportedly broke through. The details surrounding the service member’s death remain unclear.
Keating was engaged to be married in November, family friend Robert Whitely wrote on his Facebook page that Keating’s fiancee, Brooke, “was supposed to buy her wedding dress this week,” Whitley went on to say:
“Charlie, a Navy Seal on a dangerous mission in Iraq, was shot and killed last night. I can barely speak. I am devastated that my good friends have suffered this tragedy,…Brooke, the Clark and Keating families, and our extended wine competition family have lost a beautiful person and a brave soldier. We salute your service, Charlie. RIP.”
Keating was stationed in Coronado, Calif. He grew up in Arizona, where he was a standout runner before taking his track skills to Indiana University.
“I’m devastated. I’m crushed. I’m trying to hold myself together,” Rob Reniewicki, Keating’s high school track coach, told KTVK-TV.
This is the third death of a U.S. service member since the U.S.-led coalition’s operation against the Islamic State group began in the Summer of 2014.