ISIS attack kills US Navy SEAL near Irbil, Iraq

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US serviceman killed in combat in Iraq

A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in an ISIS attack in northern Iraq, officials said Tuesday.

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said the U.S. serviceman was advising and assisting Kurdish Peshmerga forces north of Mosul when ISIS fighters attacked.

"This sad news is a reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face every day in the ongoing fight to destroy ISIL," Cook said in a statement, using another acronym for ISIS. "Our coalition will honor this sacrifice by dealing ISIL a lasting defeat.

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ISIS attack kills US Navy SEAL near Irbil, Iraq
TAJI, IRAQ - APRIL 12: A U.S. Army trainer (L), instructs Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. U.S. forces, currently operating in 5 large bases throught Iraq, are training thousands of Iraqi Army combat troops, trying to rebuild a force they had origninally trained before the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2010. Members of the U.S. Army's 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
TAJI, IRAQ - APRIL 12: Iraqi Army recruits listen to a U.S. Army trainer (R), at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. U.S. forces, currently operating in 5 large bases throught the country, are training thousands of Iraqi Army combat troops, trying to rebuild a force they had origninally trained before the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2010. Members of the U.S. Army's 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
TAJI, IRAQ - APRIL 12: A U.S. Army trainer (R), instructs an Iraqi Army recruit at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. U.S. forces, currently operating in 5 large bases throught the country, are training thousands of Iraqi Army combat troops, trying to rebuild a force they had origninally trained before the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2010. Members of the U.S. Army's 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
American military trainers show Iraqi soldiers how to use American weapons during a training session at the Taji base complex, which hosts Iraqi and US troops, located 30 kilometres north of the capital Baghdad on January 7, 2015. American and allied soldiers are aiming to rapidly train thousands of Iraqi security personnel in the 'bare minimum basics' needed to join the fight against militants who swept Baghdad's troops aside. The first round of training is just getting underway at the massive Taji base complex north of Baghdad, one of five planned training sites. AFP PHOTO/ AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
CAMP BUEHRING, KUWAIT - DECEMBER 08: U.S. troops stand at attention next to a Abrams tank waiting for the arrival of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, December 8, 2014 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Secretary Hagel visited the camp which once was a staging post for troops headed to Iraq. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
TAJI, IRAQ - APRIL 12: A U.S. Army trainer (L), speaks with an Iraqi Army officer at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. U.S. forces, currently operating in 5 large bases throught Iraq, are training thousands of Iraqi Army combat troops, trying to rebuild a force they had origninally trained before the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2010. Members of the U.S. Army's 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
American trainers take a break as they train Iraqi soldier on approaching and clearing buildings at the Taji base complex, which hosts Iraqi and US troops and is located north of the capital Baghdad, on January 7, 2015. Taji is one of an eventual five sites from which the US and allied countries aim to train 5,000 Iraqi military personnel every six to eight weeks for combat against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group. AFP/ PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
American and Iraqi trainers watch on as an Iraqi soldier rebuilds his weapon at the Taji base complex, which hosts Iraqi and US troops and is located north of the capital Baghdad, on January 7, 2015. Taji is one of an eventual five sites from which the US and allied countries aim to train 5,000 Iraqi military personnel every six to eight weeks for combat against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group. AFP/ PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
An American military trainer instructs Iraqi soldier during an exercise on approaching and clearing buildings at the Taji base complex, which hosts Iraqi and US troops and is located north of the capital Baghdad, on January 7, 2015. Taji is one of an eventual five sites from which the US and allied countries aim to train 5,000 Iraqi military personnel every six to eight weeks for combat against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group. AFP PHOTO/ AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
An American military trainer instructs an Iraqi soldier during an exercise on approaching and clearing buildings at the Taji base complex, which hosts Iraqi and US troops and is located north of the capital Baghdad, on January 7, 2015. Taji is one of an eventual five sites from which the US and allied countries aim to train 5,000 Iraqi military personnel every six to eight weeks for combat against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group. AFP PHOTO/ AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - DECEMBER 09: U.S. troops are silhouetted as they listen to U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speak during a visit to Baghdad International Airport, December 9, 2014 in Baghdad, Iraq. Secretary Hagel later met with Iraqi military officials and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY W.G. DUNLOP An American soldier stands guard at the Taji base complex which hosts Iraqi and US troops and is located thirty kilometres north of the capital Baghdad on December 29, 2014. Taji is one of an eventual five sites where the US and allied countries aim to train 5,000 Iraqi military personnel every six to eight weeks for combat against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group. AFP PHOTO / ALI AL-SAADI (Photo credit should read ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images)
An American trainer instructs an Iraqi soldier on approaching and clearing buildings at the Taji base complex, which hosts Iraqi and US troops and is located north of the capital Baghdad, on January 7, 2015. Taji is one of an eventual five sites from which the US and allied countries aim to train 5,000 Iraqi military personnel every six to eight weeks for combat against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group. AFP/ PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
CAMP BUEHRING, KUWAIT - DECEMBER 08: U.S. troops listen to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speak during a visit, December 8, 2014 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Secretary Hagel visited the camp which once was a staging post for troops headed to Iraq. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY W.G DUNLOP A US soldier stands in front of graffiti painted on concrete blast walls at the Taji base complex which hosts Iraqi and US troops and is located thirty kilometres north of the capital Baghdad, on December 29, 2014. Taji is one of an eventual five sites where the US and allied countries aim to train 5,000 Iraqi military personnel every six to eight weeks for combat against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group. AFP PHOTO / ALI AL-SAADI (Photo credit should read ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images)
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - DECEMBER 09: U.S. troops listen to U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speak during a visit to Baghdad International Airport, December 9, 2014 in Baghdad, Iraq. Secretary Hagel later met with Iraqi military officials and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - DECEMBER 09: U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks to troops stationed at Baghdad International Airport, December 9, 2014 in Baghdad, Iraq. Secretary Hagel later met with Iraqi military officials and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
An F/A-18C hornet pilot poses on the flight deck of the US navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush on August 15, 2014 in the Gulf. The US aircraft carrier is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the US 5th Fleet area of responsibility. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images)
KHAZIR FRONTLINE, KRG, IRAQ - 2014/08/26: An American Humvee is potionned on the Khazir Frontline. It was captured from ISIS militants by Peshmerga soldiers. Khazir refugee camp is located outside Kalak, a town halfway on the road between Erbil and Mosul. It was overrun by ISIS militants on the 7th of August following an unprecedented push of the Caliphate into Kurdish territory. Its thousands of Iraqi and Arab refugees were forced to flee again as the now deserted camp has become the new frontline between the Peshmerga and ISIS. It is the theatre of frequent U.S. airstrikes that have helped halt the ISIS advance into a stalemate situation. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter, with an image of the US flag sewn onto his shirt sleeve, stands next to an ambulance destroyed due to an improvised explosive device (IED) in Hossein, during the clashes on the road to Jalawla, on August 23, 2014. The United States launched an air campaign against IS in Iraq on April 8, and has since carried out more than 90 strikes that have largely been in support of Kurdish forces in the north, drawing calls for operations elsewhere in the country. AFP PHOTO / JM LOPEZ (Photo credit should read JM LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
MAKHMOUR, KRG, IRAQ - 2014/08/18: A Peshmerga soldier looks away from the top of an American MRAP vehicle while the Kurdish flags floats. Makhmour is a town 50 kilometers South of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government. After an ISIS offensive, the town fell to the Caliphate on the 8th of August but taken back by the Peshmerga and PKK fighters on August 10. All people deserted the town and only 10% decided to return. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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The slain serviceman was a Navy SEAL, a defense official confirmed to NBC News.

U.S. military officials told NBC News earlier that the American was killed by direct fire about 2 to 3 miles behind the Peshmerga's forward line after ISIS fighters breached the position and conducted a large-scale attack with truck bombs and small arms.

The U.S. responded with more than 20 airstrikes, military officials added.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters in Germany that the incident near Irbil "shows that it's a serious fight that we have to wage in Iraq."

Tuesday's was the third U.S. combat death in Iraq in the past seven months.

Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin was killed in a March rocket attack south of Mosul and Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler, a Delta Force commando, died in October during a daring raid to rescue ISIS hostages.

Last month, Carter announced the U.S. would be sending 217 more troops -- including special operations forces -- to Iraq.

"The Iraqis are still in the lead. That doesn't change," Carter told Nightly News anchor Lester Holt. "Americans are at risk today every single day here. As secretary of defense, I take that more seriously than anything else."

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