DISGRACEFUL! US Special Forces Soldier Dies Fighting ISIS, Obama Refuses To Call It Combat
A U.S. service member dies in combat in Iraq—for the first time in four years. But the military still insist this is a relatively risk-free “training” mission.
An American service member was fatally shot during a U.S. Special Forces raid to rescue 70 hostages—some chained to a wall—in an ISIS compound in central Iraq. The death marks the first U.S. combat death since its withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. And it calls into question President Obama’s repeated promises that “American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again.”
Even after the raid, Pentagon officials, who once insisted there were no American boots on the ground, continued to call the U.S. effort a “train, advise and assist” mission, not a combat one. It marked the latest game of military semantics in a war defined as much by its messaging as by its tactical results.
At a briefing with reporters, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the U.S. military was “not in an active combat mission” in Iraq. Cook repeatedly called the raid “unique” but refused to say whether the U.S. military had conducted similar mission before this one or whether anyone in the Iraqi government had asked for similar help in the past.
Rather he said Secretary of Defense Ash Carter approved putting U.S. troops in harm’s way because the Kurdish forces asked for raid and because both Kurdish and U.S. forces believed hostages had recently been killed; more could die within hours, they feared.
The U.S. military was not sure who it was rescuing, Cook said. In a statement, Kurdish officials said there were no Kurds among those rescued; they seem surprised and suggested that Iraqis had been rescued, instead.