The U.S. soldier killed during yesterday’s raid in Iraq to free hostages captured by ISIS has been identified as Delta Force Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler, 39, from Oklahoma:
The Army announced the death of Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler, a native Oklahoman, killed by enemy gunfire in… https://t.co/uRo1e9zgaK
— FCoE_TeamSill (@FCoE_TeamSill) October 23, 2015
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) October 23, 2015
— Stephen Losey (@StephenLosey) October 23, 2015
Wheeler is reportedly a veteran of 11 combat tours:
— Mark Thompson (@MarkThompson_DC) October 23, 2015
And he would be the first U.S. solider killed fighting ISIS, but the Pentagon won’t call it a “combat mission”:
"U.S. forces are not in Iraq on a combat mission and do not have boots on the ground" says CJTF-OER CG LTG McFarland, in new Centcom stmnt.
— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) October 23, 2015
This sounds a lot like boots on the Ground against ISIS: US serviceman killed in hostage rescue mission in Iraq https://t.co/l7T1rYS3Cx
— Conor Powell (@ConormPowell) October 22, 2015
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) October 23, 2015
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) October 22, 2015
From the Daily Beast:
An American service member was fatally shot during a U.S. Special Forces raid to rescue 70 hostages—some chained to a wall—in an ISIS compound in central Iraq. The death marks the first U.S. combat death since its withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. And it calls into question President Obama’s repeated promises that “American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again.”
Even after the raid, Pentagon officials, who once insisted there were no American boots on the ground, continued to call the U.S. effort a “train, advise and assist” mission, not a combat one. It marked the latest game of military semantics in a war defined as much by its messaging as by its tactical results.
Editor’s note: Two additional tweets were added to this post.