Pentagon confirms US navy officer killed in Iraq

Washington, Oct 22 (IANS) The Pentagon on Friday confirmed a US Navy officer has been killed in an improvised explosive device blast in northern Iraq, where Iraqi forces, with US backing, were in fierce fighting aimed to retake Mosul from the Islamic State (IS).

Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan, 34, was serving in an advisory capacity to the Iraqi coalition force supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the Pentagon said in a statement. It’s unclear whether he had joined the Mosul offensive, Xinhua news agency reported.

It was the fourth US combat death in Iraq since June 2014, when US troops were first redeployed to the country in the war against the extremist group.

More than 100 US troops are embedded with Iraqi and Kurdish peshmerga forces pressing toward Mosul. Hundreds more are supporting the offensive with air strikes and artillery fire, intelligence, logistics and other support, said a TheHill news daily report.