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:

Wheeler is reportedly a veteran of 11 combat tours:

And he would be the first U.S. solider killed fighting ISIS, but the Pentagon won’t call it a “combat mission”:

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.