Video footage obtained by the Guardian shows the grueling firefight between US special forces, Kurdish commandoes and Islamic State fighters this week, in which a US Navy Seal was killed.
The footage – filmed on a cellphone during the battle, which lasted more than half a day – reveals the extent to which the US military is once again engaged in intense combat in Iraq.
Provided to the Guardian by the lieutenant of an elite Kurdish peshmerga unit, the video shows a convoy of four by four vehicles coming under fire near Tel Osqof, a Christian town about 30km north of Mosul.
Amid the crackle of gunfire, peshmerga fighters and at least six US troops take cover behind an unarmored pickup truck on an arterial road leading into the town.
One of the Americans appears to be saying “I don’t have a gun”, as another says, “I have a gun over here.”
A peshmerga shouts: “Please save up your bullets.”
Another peshmerga fighter asks: “Can we not ask for AK-47 bullets from the Americans?”
Lieutenant Saad, the peshmerga fighter who shot part of the footage, praised the US forces that aided the Kurds in repelling the Isis assault: “If it was not for the American firepower, we would have more casualties. They are really good fighters.”
Special Warfare Operator First Class Charles H Keating IV of San Diego, who hailed from Arizona, became the third US casualty of the latest US war in Iraq.