An American soldier was killed early Thursday during a special operations rescue mission in Iraq, American and Iraqi officials confirmed.
The U.S. Central Command commander released a statement Thursday, saying:
Last night, Iraqi forces, supported by a U.S. Special Operations team in their advise and assist capacity, conducted a complex and highly-successful operation that resulted in the freeing of approximately 70 hostages held by ISIL in an prison near Hawijah, Iraq. We commend and congratulate the brave individuals who participated in this successful operation that saved many lives, and we deeply mourn the loss of one of our own who died while supporting his Iraqi comrades engaged in a tough fight. Our gratitude and heartfelt condolences go out to this young man's family, his teammates and friends.
The mission appeared to be a joint strike against ISIS, and senior militants from the group were captured during the raid along with the prisoners freed, according to the New York Times. A U.S. official told the Associated Press the American soldier was killed during a firefight on the scene.
The U.S. and Iraqi forces were supported by American helicopters and airstrikes. The soldier was the first American soldier killed in action in Iraq since 2011, the New York Times reports.