Marine Raider was not killed by friendly fire in Iraq, military officials say


VIDEO: US and Iraqi forces drop 80,000 pounds of munitions on an ISIS island haven in Iraq

The U.S.-led military coalition fighting ISIS has ruled out friendly fire as the cause of death for Gunnery Sgt. Scott Koppenhafer, a Marine Raider who was killed on Aug. 10 near an Iraqi island on which U.S. and Iraqi forces later dropped 80,000 pounds of munitions, officials confirmed.

Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal revealed in August that investigators would look into whether Koppenhafer had accidentally been killed by U.S. or Iraqi troops.

On Tuesday, Shawn Snow of Marine Corps Times first reported that military officials had determined that Koppenhafer had not been killed by friendly fire.

Operation Inherent Resolve issued a statement on Tuesday confirming that Koppenhafer and a U.S. military contractor were killed "by enemy fire" near Qanoos Island, Iraq. Another service member was wounded during the battle.

"There is no evidence that suggests Iraqi Partner Forces engaged U.S. or coalition forces on this operation," the statement says. "The deaths and injuries were incurred in the line of duty."

A month after Koppenhafer was killed, U.S. and Iraqi aircraft flattened Qanoos Island, which the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq described as "infested" with ISIS fighters. Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighters were involved with blitzing the island.

Originally from Colorado, Koppenhafer joined the Marine Corps in 2005, became a scout sniper, and became a critical skills operator in 2009 when he completed Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command training as the Individual Training Course honor graduate, a MARSOC news release from August says.

He was meritoriously promoted to staff sergeant during his first of four MARSOC deployments and he was selected as MARSOC's 2018 Critical Skills Operator of the Year. His military awards include two Bronze Stars with "V" devices, two Combat Action Ribbons, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.

"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.

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WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."

"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.

"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.

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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.

Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.

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The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.

We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."

"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"

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