Navy SEAL Charlie Keating IV, a native of Phoenix, was identified as the American serviceman killed by fire from ISIS in Iraq on Tuesday.
The Arizona Republic reported that Keating’s uncle confirmed he had been killed in Iraq when ISIS attacked Kurdish peshmerga forces. Keating, 31, was an acclaimed distance runner in high school and went on to compete at Indiana University. He eventually left college to enlist in the Navy.
Recent Stories in National Security
Keating attended the Naval Academy before becoming a SEAL. He was based out of Coronado, Calif., according to the Associated Press. Keating was the grandson of the notable savings-and-loan financier Charles Keating Jr.
Doug Ducey, Arizona’s Republican governor, honored Keating in a statement and ordered the lowering of flags in the state on Wednesday.
"Our state and nation are in mourning today over the loss of a U.S. serviceman—and one of America’s finest," Ducey stated. "Mr. Keating is the third American service member to be killed in direct combat in our nation’s fight against ISIS. His death is a tragic reminder of the daily sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform—fighting evil and extremism on the front lines to protect freedom and democracy at home and throughout the world."
Defense Secretary Ash Carter first disclosed to reporters Tuesday morning that an American serviceman had been killed in Iraq, describing it as a "combat death." The Pentagon later said that the serviceman was killed north of Mosul, a large city controlled by ISIS, while advising Kurdish forces.
"The casualty occurred during an ISIL attack on a Peshmerga position approximately three to five kilometers behind the forward line of troops," Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said Tuesday.
The U.S. Central Command attributed the death to "enemy fire."
Keating is the third American servicemember to die in Iraq since the U.S.-led coalition began its campaign against ISIS in the fall of 2014.
Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler, a special operations soldier, was killed during a raid of an ISIS prison in northern Iraq last October, and Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin, a Marine, was killed in an ISIS rocket attack at a newly-established base near Makhmour in March.