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Marine killed in Iraq after rocket attack

Posted at 5:50 PM, Mar 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-20 15:22:07-04

A U.S. Marine was killed in a rocket attack by ISIS on a base at Makhmur in northern Iraq, the Pentagon said Saturday.

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook confirmed the death in a statement. He said the Marine was “providing force protection fire support at a recently established coalition fire base near Makhmur in northern Iraq.”

Cook added that several other Marines were wounded, though he did not provide details on their conditions.

On Sunday, the Pentagon identified the slain Marine as Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin, of Temecula, California. Cardin was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the Pentagon said.

The base is where the U.S. has been conducting advise-and-assist activities as part of the coalition effort against ISIS, a U.S. official told CNN.

On Sunday, defense officials revealed that attack occurred at the first American firebase that had only become operational a few days earlier.

The existence of the firebase had not previously been made public and he Pentagon had planned to acknowledge the firebase this week, a defense official told CNN.

The rugged location for now has a “couple of hundred” Marines living in tents near Makhmour in northern Iraq. It’s assumed ISIS observed the Marines moving into the area and saw them firing practice rounds with their howitzers, the official said.

Iraqi General Sirwan Barzani told CNN that the attack occurred around 9:30 a.m. local time.

Barzani added that his men in Makhmour are receiving rocket fire daily and some attacks have claimed Iraqi soldiers and Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

The last U.S. service member to be killed in Iraq as a result of hostile enemy action was Army Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler, of Roland, Oklahoma, who died in October during a rescue mission in northern Iraq. Wheeler was the first American to die in combat in Iraq since November 2011.

Sunday marks the 13th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War.