A newly-released cellphone video captured an intense firefight near Tel Osqof, Iraq, this week. U.S. special forces and Kurdish peshmerga fighters battled ISIS members, leaving one Navy SEAL dead (video below).
According to the Guardian, the firefight lasted more than half a day and Special Warfare Operator First Class Charles H. Keating IV was killed.
The Washington Post reports that Keating was the grandson of notorious savings and loan banker Charles H. Keating Jr., who went to jail for wire and bankruptcy fraud.
Part of the video provided to the Guardian was filmed by Lieutenant Saad, a peshmerga fighter, as a convoy was fired upon. U.S. troops and peshmerga fighters used a pickup truck for cover (pictured).
"If it was not for the American firepower, we would have more casualties," Saad said of U.S. forces. "They are really good fighters."
The Guardian blurred the faces of U.S. forces after consulting with the U.S. government.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Keating died a combat death, but added: "Our men and women on the ground in Iraq do not have a combat mission, but they do have a dangerous mission to operate in a dangerous country."
The Obama administration has insisted for years that U.S. troops in Iraq (4,000 to 5,500) are an advisory force, not combat troops.
Colonel Steve Warren, a military spokesman, said Keating was in a quick reaction force (QRF).
"Our forces automatically became embroiled in the ensuing battle," Warren stated. "It was a big fight, one of the largest we’ve seen recently."
"That’s why the QRF went, to help extract them," Warren added. "It was a big fight. They were in contact [with the enemy], they couldn’t get away. So the QRF came to help ensure they were able to get away."
Warren said Keating was picked up by a Black Hawk helicopter and flown to a medical facility in Irbil, Iraq, but later died. Warren called Keating an “American hero."
Warren stated that "our guys got out of there relatively rapidly," but said the fight went on over half a day and included 31 air strikes.
Warren said 58 ISIS fighters died.
"Our mission remains to advise, assist, train [and] equip our partner forces, both here in Iraq and in Syria," Warren said. "That really continues to be our primary mission."
The U.S. mission against ISIS will mark its third year in the summer.