A video obtained exclusively by a British newspaper reportedly shows the firefight with Islamic State fighters that left a Navy SEAL from Arizona dead.
The cellphone footage obtained by the Guardian (WARNING: VIDEO LINK CONTAINS DISTURBING LANGUAGE AND COMBAT) was taken by an officer in the Kurdish peshmerga. The United States have sent special advisers, including SEALS, to help the fighters combat the spread of ISIS.
Charles Humphrey Keating IV, who grew up in the Phoenix area, was killed in the battle about 20 miles north of Mosul, Iraq. He is the third U.S. service member to fall in combat against ISIS since June 2014.
Brig. Gen. Bahnam Aboush, a fighter with the Christian militia — known as the Nineveh Plain Protection Units — that is based in the town where the battle happened, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Keating was mortally wounded when the peshmerga 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.”
The footage shows both peshmerga troops and what appears to be U.S. military using trucks for cover.
Lieutenant Saad, the peshmerga fighter who shot part of the footage, praised the US forces that aided the Kurds in repelling the Isis assault: “If it was not for the American firepower, we would have more casualties. They are really good fighters.”
The video also shows a Black Hawk helicopter landing. It is unclear if it was called in after Keating was shot, but a fighter in the video says “it has come to take away the wounded.”
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