(FOX NEWS) - Islamic State fighters shot and killed a Navy SEAL during an "extremely heavy, extremely intense" firefight with U.S. forces and Kurdish Peshmerga troops in northern Iraq Tuesday, military officials and a trainer who witnessed the fighting told Fox News.
The unnamed service member was advising Peshmerga forces but was less than 2 miles behind the front lines in the town of Tel Askuf, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement. A defense official told Fox News the service member was killed by small arms fire, likely from an AK-47 rifle.
"The Peshmerga were trying to hold the line, but Navy SEALS – at least 20 – came in and pounded the s--- out of ISIS," military trainer Matthew Van Dyke told Fox News, saying that "scores" of Islamic State militants died. Van Dyke and three U.S. veterans were training Assyrian Christian forces battling ISIS in the region.
"ISIS kept sending in suicide bombers, SEALs pounded them and the [U.S.] airstrikes did a lot to help. Bullets flying everywhere, machine gun fire from ISIS, really intense firefight," Van Dyke added. He said three Christian fighters and several Peshmerga were also hurt.
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