The U.S. Department of Defense is reporting that a Marine in Baghdad was killed in a “non-combat related incident” though there are no details of what happened. That absence of information is made more troubling by the fact that ISIS continues its march on Baghdad and threatens to take it:
A U.S. Marine was killed in Baghdad in a non-combat-related incident, becoming the first U.S. servicemember to die in that country since the end of active U.S. combat operations in 2011.
Thursday’s death of Lance Cpl. Sean P. Neal, 19, of Riverside, Calif., is under investigation, the Pentagon said. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command.
Neal is the first U.S. servicemember to die in Iraq since Nov. 14, 2011, when Army Spec. David Emanuel Hickman, 23, of Greensboro, N.C., was killed by an improvised explosive device in Baghdad. He was the last official casualty of the Iraq War.
Neal is the second U.S. servicemember to die in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve. The first was Marine Cpl. Jordan Spears, 21, of Memphis, Ind., who was lost in the northern Persian Gulf on Oct. 1 when he bailed out of an aircraft.
Of course, the Obama administration has not exactly burnished its credentials as a paragon of credibility. In fact, it has gone out of its way to assert that U.S. boots will not be on the ground in Iraq. That is already patently false; Neal’s death would seemingly demonstrate it.
We’re told the war in Iraq has ended but the U.S. embassy in Baghdad will soon be in a war zone if ISIS has its way. As Neal’s death shows, there are already American boots on the ground in Iraq.