An American service member was killed on Oct. 22 as dozens of U.S. special operations troops and Iraqi forces freed 70 prisoners from the Islamic State in northern Iraq.

According to officials, the unidentified fallen service member is the first American to have died in combat since operations against the Islamic State began in August 2014.

Though the circumstances are unclear, one official said the service member had been shot in a firefight while troops attempted to rescue hostages from imminent execution. Peter Cook, Pentagon press secretary, said the American killed was wounded during the mission and died after receiving medical care.