WASHINGTON, DC – A US Navy SEAL was killed Tuesday during a firefight with ISIS militants in Tel Askuf, Iraq. Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Charles Keating IV served as part of the quick reaction force tasked to extract American and Kurdish troops pinned down by ISIS fighters.
A team comprised of less than 12 US military advisers in Tel Askuf called for help after around 120 ISIS militants swarmed into the area using around 20 technicals, multiple car bombs, and at least one bulldozer, said Col. Steve Warren, a Department of Defense spokesmen.
“After the enemy forces [punched] through the forward lines there and made their move into Tel Askuf, our forces automatically became kind of embroiled in the ensuing battle,” Warren said. “They rapidly called for the quick reaction force and continued on the fight until such time one service member was shot and then medevaced out.”
Keating “was struck by direct fire, and although he was medevaced within the all important golden hour, his wound was not survivable,” Warren stated.
“There were bullets everywhere,” said Warren. “[Keating] got hit just in the course of this gun battle. Whether it was a sniper or some fighter with his AK is unclear.”
Video footage obtained by the Guardian shows the grueling firefight between US special operations forces and the militants.
US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter described Keating’s death as “a combat death, of course. And very sad loss.”