US service member killed in Iraq in combat op days after Pentagon warned of ‘ISIS resurgence’

Published By ITCT News Desk On : August 12, 2019
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A US Marine from Colorado who had been serving in Iraq was killed in combat over the weekend — just days after the Pentagon warned of an “ISIS resurgence,” according to defense officials.

Initially, the fatality was announced by Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) in a statement on August 10.

Statement on August 10 by CJTF-OIR

 

Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer, 35, died Saturday “after being engaged by enemy small arms fire,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

He was advising an Iraqi Security Force mission in Ninewah Province — in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, a US-led military campaign to counter ISIS — when the incident occurred.

Koppenhafer’s death comes just days after Pentagon officials reported a resurgence in ISIS-related activity in Iraq and Syria.

“Koppenhafer was assigned to the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina,” defense officials said. His death “is under investigation.”

Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer

Koppenhafer hailed from the Colorado town of Mancos, which is about 30 miles west of Durango. He joined the Marines in 2005 — first serving as a machine gunner and later as a scout sniper, according to KUSA.

Over the course of his military career, Koppenhafer won several medals — including two Bronze Stars and a Humanitarian Service medal. He was dubbed MARSOC’s Critical Skills Operator of the Year in 2018. The Marine reportedly leaves behind a wife and two children.

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