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Report: Navy SEAL from Arizona killed while fighting ISIS

(Facebook Photo)

PHOENIX — A Navy SEAL who grew up in the Phoenix area was reportedly killed while fighting the Islamic State on Tuesday.

The San Diego Union-Tribune said Charles Humphrey Keating IV was killed about 20 miles north of Mosul, Iraq. The town is held by ISIS.

The paper was unable to contact Keating’s family.

He attended Arcadia High School and graduated in 2004. He was engaged to be married in November and lived in the San Diego area.

Keating is the third U.S. service member to fall in combat against ISIS since June 2014. Though American troops are officially deployed in training-only roles, they can become involved in combat if the situation calls for it.

The Washington Post reported Keating was killed after ISIS broke through Kurdish peshmerga fighters. Keating was serving as an advisor to those forces.

Brig. Gen. Bahnam Aboush, a fighter with the Christian militia based in the town and known as the Nineveh Plain Protection Units, told the Union-Tribune that Keating was mortally wounded when the line broke.

“We tried to fight them, but we couldn’t due our limited capabilities,” he said. “We have only some old rifles we bought from our own money.”

Aboush said American special forces attempted to rescue Keating and the fighters and one vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

“They (the SEALS) went straight into the fight,” Matthew VanDyke, an American fighting alongside the Nineveh Plains Protection Units, said. “They lined up on the edge of the town and they were unloading on ISIS.” He said the SEALS advanced in a convoy with peshmerga fighters.

An unidentified Kurdish official said Keating was airlifted, but died as he was being transported.

Fox 5 in San Diego reported that President Barack Obama has been informed of Keating’s death.

Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags to be flown at half-mast on Wednesday in honor of Keating’s death.

“Our state and nation are in mourning today over the loss of a U.S. serviceman and one of America’s finest,” the governor said in a release.

Keating was the grandson of Charles Humphrey Keating Jr., who was infamous for his part in the savings and loan scandal.

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