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Iraq: two US soldiers killed, five wounded in internal incident

A US Army serviceman sits at the tailgate of an helicopter. The Afghan Taliban announce the start of their "spring offensive", saying they would target foreign forces in their country.
JONATHAN ERNST (X90178/AFP/File)

Two United States military personnel were killed and five injured in what initial reports indicated was an internal "incident" in northern Iraq on Sunday, a statement from the US-led coalition fighting against Islamic State (IS) said.

"Two U.S. service members were killed and five injured conducting combat operations in northern Iraq, Aug. 13, 2017," the statement said.

"Initial reports indicate the incident was not due to enemy contact," the statement continued, adding the circumstances are "under investigation."

"The entire counter-ISIS Coalition sends our deepest condolences to these heroes' families, friends and teammates," said Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of the Combined Joint Task Force carrying out Operation Inherent Resolve, as the US-led coalition is known.

The Coalition, made up of dozens of countries, has been active since 2014, fighting a mainly aerial campaign against IS.

Military "advisers" from several countries have also been aiding federal Iraqi forces on the frontlines. 

On August 2 another US military service member was killed in a non-combat incident in Kuwait. 

"There are no words to describe the respect I have for you and sorrow I have for your loss," Lt. Gen. Townsend continued. "I hope there is some small solace in knowing their loss has meaning for our country and all the nations of the Coalition as the fallen service members were fighting to defeat a truly evil enemy and to protect our homelands."

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