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US servicemember killed in noncombat incident in northern Iraq

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 20, 2019

An American servicemember died Saturday in a noncombat incident in northern Iraq, the military said.

The identity of the servicemember, who died in Nineveh province, would not be released until after next of kin were notified, Operation Inherent Resolve said in a brief statement that gave no further information about the circumstances of the death.

U.S. troops are continuing to serve in Iraq as part of a coalition to train, advise and assist local forces in the fight against an Islamic State insurgency, after helping bring an end to the terrorist group’s physical “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria.

Last month, President Donald Trump announced that U.S.-backed forces in Syria had retaken the last of the ISIS-held territory.

Still, the terrorist group has continued to carry out violent attacks in both Iraq and Syria and remains a threat.

Inherent Resolve said in a statement earlier this month that the group maintains an underground network of cells and that the U.S.-led coalition is continuing to provide Iraqi security forces the training needed to defeat those cells.

Saturday’s death is the first 2019 fatality of an American servicemember in Iraq.

Two U.S. soldiers supporting the Inherent Resolve operation were killed in a noncombat vehicle accident in Kuwait in March.

In January, two American servicemembers, a Defense Department civilian and a DOD contractor were killed in a bombing at a restaurant in the Syrian town of Manbij.

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