Nine months ago, in addition to the authorization of airstrikes against isis targets, the U.S. military began deploying special forces as part of a new mission to take on the rising Islamic State. Among those taking part in the deployment were military advisers and support personnel.
The first casualty in that renewed battle has taken place, and the soldier’s story is a memorable one.
The soldier’s mission was part of training Iraqi soldiers in Besmaya, a base that was constructed on the outskirts of Baghdad.
The Long War Journal reports on such training as takes place at Besmaya:
Although the Military Times did not publish the soldier’s name involved in the exchange of gunfire, he has set a tremendous example to never stop fighting.
Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed the first casualty for ground troops fighting ISIS, and said the following via the Military Times:
The shooting occurred at a guard post manned by two soldiers at the Besmaya Range Complex south of Baghdad at about 3 a.m. One soldier was in an elevated guard post overlooking the security perimeter and the other was on the ground, Warren said.
The ground-level soldier was “looking over a T-wall, they were trying to identify the source of some light that they’d seen,” Warren said. “They saw a flash, heard a crack and the soldier who was looking over the T-wall barrier … received the laceration.”
In common language, the soldier was shot in the face. And did he drop to his knees, hoping for someone to come to his rescue? Hardly.
The soldier picked up his rifle and returned fire. He was later treated for injuries from the ‘laceration’ to his face, possibly due to a ricochet shot, and went back on duty.
—Courtesy of IJ Review