US military says service member killed in Iraq mission
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US military says service member killed in Iraq mission

Iraqi forces periodically target Islamic State group sleeper cells, with support from a US-led coalition

Illustrative:  In this Jan. 27, 2018, file photo, US Army soldiers speak to families in rural Anbar on a reconnaissance patrol near a coalition outpost in western Iraq. (AP Photo/Susannah George, File)
Illustrative: In this Jan. 27, 2018, file photo, US Army soldiers speak to families in rural Anbar on a reconnaissance patrol near a coalition outpost in western Iraq. (AP Photo/Susannah George, File)

BAGHDAD — The US military said Saturday that an American service member died during an operation alongside Iraqi security personnel in Nineveh province.

“One US service member died today during an Iraqi Security Force mission in… Iraq, while advising and accompanying the ISF during a planned operation,” US Central Command said in a statement.

Iraqi forces periodically launch operations in the country’s west and northwest border areas, targeting Islamic State group sleeper cells, with support from a US-led coalition.

Iraq’s government in late 2017 declared victory against IS, which seized vast swathes of the country including the key northern city of Mosul in a lightning 2014 offensive.

But the jihadist group has lately “solidified its insurgent capabilities in Iraq” , according to a report this week by the US Defense Department watchdog.

The report also said IS was “resurging” in neighboring Syria, despite a Kurdish offensive — backed by US-led coalition air support — to seize the last shred of the jihadists’ self-styled caliphate in Deir Ezzor province earlier this year.

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