2 US Soldiers Killed in Artillery ‘Mishap’ While Fighting ISIS in Iraq, Pentagon Says

Bowen Xiao
By Bowen Xiao
August 15, 2017News
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2 US Soldiers Killed in Artillery ‘Mishap’ While Fighting ISIS in Iraq, Pentagon Says
(L) Sgt. Roshain E. Brooks, 30, of Brooklyn; (R) Sgt. Allen E. Stigler, 22, of Arlington, Texas, at right. (82nd Airborne Division)

Two U.S. soldiers were killed on Sunday during an artillery “mishap” while fighting in Iraq, according to a spokesman for the Pentagon.

The soldiers were identified as 30-year-old Sgt. Roshain E. Brooks from Brooklyn, New York, and 22-year-old Sgt. Allen L. Stigler Jr. from Arlington, Texas.

A U.S. Army artillery unit was firing on a mortar position targeting the ISIS terrorist group on Aug. 13 “when a mishap occurred,” Army Col. Rob Manning said, NBC4 reported.

Manning said there was no evidence that ISIS was involved in the deaths of the two American soldiers. He said the incident is still under investigation so he cannot provide any further details.

The pair were serving as cannon crew members, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

The 82nd Airborne Division on Aug. 15, honored the two fallen soldiers in a Facebook post.

“Tonight we honor the memory of two 82nd Airborne Paratroopers killed in Iraq on 13 August while engaging the enemy with artillery,” the post reads.

Col Pat. Work commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, said the pair were both American patriots who did their duty.

“Sergeant Brooks and Stigler were courageous patriots and Paratroopers who served our coalition and the people of Iraq with extraordinary commitment.

“Our team extends its most sincere condolences to their Families and friends. Their personal commitments to our campaign against ISIS were extraordinary and we are incredibly proud to have served with them,” he said.

The Facebook post has been shared over 41,500 times as the community offered their prayers and condolences.

Five other people suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the incident, Manning said.

Brooks first joined the army in July 2012, and was assigned to Fort Hood in Texas. Last year he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division and was deployed to Afghanistan between June to November 2014. That deployment was his first to Iraq.

Brooks has been awarded with multiple medals, including the Army Commendation Medal with “C” Device, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.

Both Stigler and Brooks were also awarded the Bronze Star Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, and Combat Action Badge, the Pentagon says.

 

READ MORE: 

Heroic Soldier Turned Gun on Himself While Fighting ISIS

A fighter from the Syriac Military Council (SMC), Christian fighters supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces in the combat against ISIS terrorists, in western Raqa on July 17, 2017. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A fighter from the Syriac Military Council (SMC), Christian fighters supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces in the combat against ISIS terrorists, in western Raqa on July 17, 2017.
(BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

A young man who volunteered to fight with Kurdish forces against the ISIS terrorist group shot himself in the head to avoid falling hostage to them, a recent inquest heard.

Ryan Lock, a 20-year-old from Chichester, England, died a heroic death last December fighting with the People’s Defense Units (YPG) in Raqqa, the BBC reports. He was helping forces recapture the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.

A coroner said Lock was hopelessly surrounded by enemy troops and badly wounded his leg during a battle in Syria and after realizing he was about to be captured, shot himself, the inquest in Portsmouth heard.

Coroner David Horsley described Lock as a heroic young man.

“He died doing something he quite clearly believed passionately in,” Horsely said, adding that the leg wound left him at risk of falling into the hands of a “cruel and ruthless enemy.”

Lock, a former chef with no previous military experience joined the Kurdish militia after telling his family he was going on holiday to Turkey last year in August, according to The Sun.

Before he died, Lock kept in touch with his family by sending them pictures and updates by Facebook Messenger on the military training he was receiving.

However the parents lost contact with him last year and in December, Lock’s father Jon Plater found images of his son online with an ISIS fighter standing over his body. The death was later confirmed, The Sun reports.

Ryan’s cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head, said pathologist Dr. Basil Purdue.

Lock’s mother, Catherine said that before he left home he did mention sometimes about the terrible situation in Syria, but “it wasn’t something he would constantly comment on,” according to the BBC.

When Lock told her he was on the way to fight with the YPG as a chef with hopes to train as a medic, Catherine said she “absolutely panicked.”

Catherine tried not to say anything negative, for fear of losing contact and told him to stay safe.

“I’m proud of you, but for God’s sake come home safely,” she said.

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