Islamic State rocket kills US Marine in Iraq

Islamic State is Responsible for 'Genocide' - John Kerry
Islamic State is Responsible for 'Genocide' - John Kerry

WASHINGTON, March 19 (Reuters) - A U.S. Marine who was part of the coalition fighting Islamic State was killed in a rocket attack by the militant group in northern Iraq, the Pentagon said in a statement on Saturday.

It was the second combat death of an American service member in Iraq since the start of the campaign to fight the militant Islamic State group.

The Marine, who was providing force protection fire, died in the rocket attack at a base near Makhmur, a town between the cities of Mosul and Kirkuk, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.

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Cook did not identify the Marine who had been killed. He said several other Marines had been wounded and were being treated for injuries.

A U.S. defense official said two rockets had been fired. One did not cause any damage.

In October, Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler, 39, of Roland, Oklahoma, became the first American to die in combat in Iraq since 2011 when he was killed during an overnight mission to rescue hostages held by Islamic State militants.

Earlier this year U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that a new U.S. force of special operations troops had arrived in Iraq and was preparing to work with Iraqi forces to go after Islamic State targets.

While that force was expected to number only about 200, its deployment marked the latest expansion of U.S. military pressure on Islamic State.

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Originally published