Navy SEAL Killed as ISIS Overruns Kurdish Positions in Iraq

A U.S. Navy SEAL died in combat Tuesday while embedded with Kurdish peshmerga soldiers in a battle against the Islamic State, Department of Defense sources said.

The SEAL, whose name and rank were not immediately disclosed, died during an Islamic State attack on the town of Tel Skuf, about 17 miles north of the terrorist army’s stronghold of Mosul.

Late in the day, the Associated Press identified him as Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Charlie Keating IV, 31, saying the name was released by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

Keating, grandson of the late Arizona financier Charles Keating, grew up in Phoenix and attended the Naval Academy before becoming a SEAL based out of Coronado, Calif., AP reported.

Keating was conducting an advise-and-assist mission with the peshmerga, a Kurdish fighting force allied with the U.S.-led coalition in the war against the Islamic State, the Islamist militant group also known as ISIS.

“It shows you it’s a serious fight that we have to wage in Iraq,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in announcing the “combat death” in Stuttgart, Germany, without releasing the name, AP reported.

Military officials told the wire service that Keating died after being hit by small arms fire. He died around 9:33 a.m. local time from a gunshot wound, two defense officials told Navy Times.

Presumably, U.S. troops performing that mission are not on forward edge of the front lines and do not directly participate in fighting. The Pentagon said Keating was 2 to 3 miles behind the front lines when he was killed.

The combat fatality is the third among U.S. troops in Iraq since the 2014 launch of Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Marine Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin died March 21 during an ISIS rocket attack at an outpost near the town of Makhmour, about 40 miles southeast of Mosul.

And U.S. Army Special Forces Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler, who also was performing the advise-and-assist mission, died from enemy fire in October during a hostage rescue operation in Iraq.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said President Barack Obama had been briefed on the incident and extended condolences to Keating’s family. He said the incident was a “vivid reminder” of the dangers facing U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.

“They are taking grave risks to protect our country. We owe them a deep debt of gratitude,” Earnest said, AP reported.

Old political hands in Washington and Arizona recall Keating’s grandfather as a politically active developer and financier who became embroiled in a savings and loan scandal that ensnared five U.S. senators, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. The elder Keating died in 2014.

Of the “Keating Five”–the others were Alan Cranston, D-Calif.; Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz.; John Glenn, D-Ohio; and Donald Riegle, D-Mich.–McCain is the only one still serving on Capitol Hill.

The ability of ISIS forces to break through peshmerga lines Tuesday underscores how the terrorist army is still able to mount offensive operations despite nearly two years of coalition airstrikes.

The ISIS attack comprised 400 fighters and multiple car bombs and suicide bombers.

The attack also was a bellwether for the kind of tactics ISIS likely will use when Iraqi and Kurdish forces launch a campaign to take back nearby Mosul, a city of more than 1 million and the most populous city controlled by ISIS in Iraq.

Coalition and peshmerga reports indicate Mosul is heavily defended by multiple rings of improvised explosive devices and booby traps. Peshmerga troops say they anticipate ISIS fighters will launch waves of suicide attacks as in past battles.

According to unconfirmed reports from peshmerga soldiers in the area, the attacking ISIS fighters were able to break through Kurdish lines before a peshmerga counterattack supported by more than 20 U.S. airstrikes turned them back.

Fighting was ongoing and Kurdish authorities had sealed off roads to the area for safety.

Peshmerga troops reported multiple ISIS attacks Tuesday in the area around Mosul, including at front-line positions near Gwer, about 18 miles south of Mosul. (For more from the author of “Navy SEAL Killed as ISIS Overruns Kurdish Positions in Iraq” please click HERE)

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WATCH: The Reason the Navy SEAL Who Killed bin Laden Decided to Speak Out

For the man who shot and killed the most wanted terrorist in the world, opening up to the world about the night Osama bin Laden died was about closure.

In a highly anticipated Fox News special focused on him, former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill spoke of the responsibility he thought he had to tell the story of the bin Laden raid. . .

Read more from this story HERE.

Despite Pentagon Objections, Fox News Will Air Interview With SEAL Who Killed Bin Laden

Photo Credit: Getty ImagesInsiders at Fox News Channel said Friday that a two-day documentary featuring an interview with the Navy SEAL who killed Osama Bin Laden will air as scheduled despite objections from the Pentagon.

On Wednesday, Fox News announced that a show called The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden hosted by Washington correspondentPeter Doocy was scheduled for Nov. 11 and Nov. 12, but on Friday the Pentagon toldBusiness Insider that the SEALs and former SEALs who were participants do not have permission to discuss the classified 2011 mission.

The government has never identified the Navy SEALs who killed Bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of 2001, though they were profiled in the 2012 movie Zero Dark Thirty, which was controversial for its insinuation that waterboarding was an effective tool in gathering intelligence.

Read more from this story HERE.

Navy Seal Punished for Criticizing Politicization of Military Seeks Accountability

Photo Credit: Fox and Friends

Photo Credit: Fox and Friends

Special Operations Petty Officer 1st Class Carl Higbie is seeking accountability for the politicization of the military he witnessed while in the Navy SEALS.

Higbie saw this politicization affect the lives of others through death of a fellow SEAL, killed while following an “obsolete”–but required–“Standard Operating Procedure” in Iraq, and in the manner in which three SEALS were treated after being “falsely accused of physically abusing Ahmed Hashim Abed, following his capture in 2009.”

According to The Daily Beast, these two events spurred Higbie to write Battle on the Homefront: A Navy SEAL’s Mission to Save the American Dream.

After the book’s release, Higbie felt the politicization of the military in his own life, as his July 2012 Honorable Discharge was changed to a General Discharge in September 2012. It was the first of many ramifications he would face for trying to do what he thought necessary to return accountability to military leadership.

Read more from this story HERE.

Famed Navy SEAL Chris Kyle Murdered at Gun Range in N. Texas

Photo Credit: G Laury PhotographyGLEN ROSE, Texas — A former U.S. Navy SEAL who gained recognition during the Iraq War was one of two people fatally shot southwest of Fort Worth on Saturday, KHOU 11 News has learned.

Sources close to the investigation identified the former SEAL as Chris Kyle, 39, author of the New York Times bestselling book, “American Sniper.”

Kyle was shot point-blank while helping another soldier who was recovering from post traumatic stress syndrome, officials said. The murders happened at a shooting range near the town of Glen Rose, about 53 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

The Erath County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert for the arrest of the suspect, who was later identified as Eddie Routh, 25. Officials warned that Routh was traveling in a Ford F-150 pickup with large tires and rims. They said he was believed to be highly trained with military experience.

Routh was reportedly later captured in Lancaster, south of Dallas.

Read more from this story HERE.

Navy SEAL Killed in Rescue of American Doctor in Afghanistan

photo credit: usnavy

A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed early Sunday in the rescue of an American doctor who was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan, defense officials tell NBC News.

The Navy SEAL was wounded in the rescue operation and later died, according to a senior defense official.

The rescue operation was launched when coalition forces reported that Dr. Dilip Joseph was in imminent danger. Joseph, who worked with the non-profit Morning Star Development of Colorado Springs, was kidnapped Wednesday along with two Afghan staff members — one is part of the medical team, the other part of the support team. Joseph has been the non-profit’s medical adviser for three years.

Morning Star said the team of three had been returning from a visit to one of its rural medical clinics when the kidnappers stopped their vehicle. The three were then taken to a mountainous area about 50 miles from the Pakistan border, Morning Star said.

Contact between the hostages, their captors and the non-profit’s crisis management team started immediately, according to a statement on Morning Star’s website. On Saturday evening, two of the hostages were released. The two men then made their way out of the area and were taken to a police station.

Read more from this story HERE.

Mother of SEAL: ‘I Believe that Obama Murdered My Son’

photo credit: roberthuffstutterA father and a mother used the word “murder.” A brother said he won’t second-guess decisions made in the heat of battle.

The families of three Americans killed in the Sept. 11 U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya, are offering widely different reactions to recent reports that U.S. personnel issued several requests for help that were turned down.

Patricia Smith, the mother of slain State Department employee Sean Patrick Smith, is now blaming President Barack Obama for her son’s death.

“I believe that Obama murdered my son,” she said Thursday from the living room of her Clairemont home. “I firmly believe this.”

Patricia Smith, who voted for Obama in 2008 at the insistence of her son, said reporting by Fox News is the basis for much of her belief that Obama is ultimately responsible for her son’s death. She said Sean, who went to Mission Bay High School but lived abroad, was a fervent supporter of the president.

Read more from this story HERE.

Jihadists Call for Alaskan Navy SEAL’s Murder; His New Book Slams Obama for Taking Credit for bin Laden Hit

Bin Laden apparently was hit in the head when he looked out of his bedroom door into the top-floor hallway of his compound as SEALs rushed up a narrow stairwell in his direction, according to former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen in “No Easy Day.” The book is to be published next week by Penguin Group (USA)’s Dutton imprint.

Bissonnette says he was directly behind a “point man” going up the stairs. “Less than five steps” from top of the stairs, he heard “suppressed” gunfire: “BOP. BOP.” The point man had seen a “man peeking out of the door” on the right side of the hallway.

The author writes that bin Laden ducked back into his bedroom and the SEALs followed, only to find the terrorist crumpled on the floor in a pool of blood with a hole visible on the right side of his head and two women wailing over his body.

Bissonnette says the point man pulled the two women out of the way and shoved them into a corner and he and the other SEALs trained their guns’ laser sites on bin Laden’s still-twitching body, shooting him several times until he lay motionless. The SEALs later found two weapons stored by the doorway, untouched, the author said.

Read more from this story HERE and Bissonnette’s statement that the Navy Seals knew Obama would improperly take credit for the raid. They feared he might be reelected as a result. Also, Jihadists have published Bissonnette’s photo and demanded his killing since Fox News disclosed his identity.

Alaskan Navy Seal who wrote book on bin Laden killing identified, faces likely probe

On Wednesday this week, Reuters reported that a Navy Seal had written a book about the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. The book, entitled “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden,” was written by a former Seal Team Six member under the pseudonym of “Mark Owen” along with co-author Kevin Maurer. The publisher states that it will be released on 9/11.

According to Reuters:

The U.S. government was surprised by the news that a Navy SEAL who participated in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan has written a book about the operation in which the al Qaeda leader was killed, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. . . It was not vetted by government agencies to ensure that no secrets were revealed.

The agencies not consulted included the Pentagon and the CIA. The publisher, Dutton of the U.S. Penguin Group, responded:

The book was vetted by a former special operations attorney. He vetted it for tactical, technical, and procedural information as well as information that could be considered classified by compilation and found it to be without risk to national security.

After a bit of sleuthing, Fox News discovered that the author was part of the elite team that killed three Somalian pirates who had taken control of an American vessel in the Indian Ocean in 2009, and that

“Mark Owen,” the pseudonym under which the book was written, is actually 35 year-old Matt Bissonnette of Wrangell, Alaska. Bissonnette held the rank of chief in the elite Navy SEAL Team 6 prior to retiring. He was one of the first men in the room where bin Laden died, witnessing the occurrence first-hand.

Some have called Fox’s decision to publicize Bissonnette’s name and location “astonishing” as it most certainly puts the former Navy Seal at risk of reprisal by Islamic fanatics.  Fox disagreed, noting that anyone who publishes such a book loses any reasonable expectation of privacy.  The network also contended that Bissonnette’s goal is to publicly confront Obama for “taking credit” for the raid, since he had cited the need to “set the record straight.”

It now appears that Obama may be attempting to preempt this confrontation. According to Reuters, Bissonnette is likely to face a Department of Defense probe over his failure to have the book “cleared” prior to publication:

Colonel Tim Nye, spokesman for the U.S. Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, which directs operations by Navy SEALs and other special operations forces, said on Thursday that SOCOM did not review the book before publication, nor had the SEALs.

Nye said that because the book had not been subjected to appropriate pre-publication review, it could become a target of “potential investigation” by government authorities.

Unfortunately for Obama, “any such inquiry was unlikely to be launched until after the book’s publication, scheduled for the anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States.”