U.S. Sailor Killed During Battle to Retake Mosul

I wrote this yesterday and forgot to press the "publish" button. The U.S. Navy announced a Navy chief petty officer serving as an advisor in Northern Iraq has been killed:

A Sailor assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 3 based in Coronado, California, died Oct. 20 after sustaining injuries while deployed to Iraq. Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan, 34, of Anaheim, California, was serving in an advisory capacity to the Iraqi coalition force supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq.

U.S, Naval Institute News reports he was killed when an improvised device exploded during the Iraqi Forces push to retake Mosul from ISIS:

Finan was killed when an improvised explosive device exploded...Developing an EOD capability has been important due to the Islamic State planting roadside bombs and booby-traps as they have moved throughout the region.


Our Defense Secretary had this to say:

We know he was in northern Iraq. I can’t tell you more than that right now. We obviously know, generally speaking, what he was doing, because we know what we’re doing there,” he said.

The Associated Press has more. He is the first U.S. combat death in Mosul, but the 4th in Iraq since the U.S. decided to go after ISIS.

[H]e was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Three....He died of wounds sustained in a roadside bomb attack north of Mosul. He was part of a U.S. team advising and assisting Iraqi Kurd fighters known as peshmerga.

Finan is the fourth U.S. combat death in Iraq since U.S. military operations against the Islamic State began in Iraq in August 2014.in Iraq since 2014.

I didn't see any media articles last night specifying exactly where he died. If he was killed Thursday, then I think it might have been in one of the areas mentioned by ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq in its October 20 release.(I used Google translate to translate from Arabic, so it's awkwardly worded, to say the least):

The Islamic state forces foiled Thursday blistering Peshmerga forces backed by the International Coalition on the villages "Batnaya" and "Kfrok" north of Mosul, where the latter has failed to break into the two villages in spite of intensive air cover an attack, and was forced to retreat after fierce clashes and implementation 5 suicide car bomb attacks against convoys attacking, killing dozens of dead and wounded and the destruction of many of the mechanisms, according to the depths of the military sources.

As it has been the destruction of my vehicle Hummer and a bulldozer guided missiles. Peshmerga forces tried to advance towards the town "Ba'shiqah", northeast of Mosul, but they collided as well as a violent confrontation by the Islamic State forces, and attacked A_i_hadian two communities of forces between the junction "Genge" and "Khorsabat," as was the bombing of a number of improvised explosive devices on their vehicles, without the receipt of information about the size of the losses.

In eastern Mosul, regained the fighters of the Islamic State control over the villages, "Bahbath" and "beacon" hours after the control of militias crowd and forces Swat Iraqi them, after a counter-attack carried out in which three suicide bombers car bomb attacks in the village of Beacon without knowing the size of the losses, in addition to martyrdom fourth attack in the village of Bahbath resulted in deaths and injuries and the destruction of three Hummer vehicles, were destroyed my vehicle Hummer another two rocket-propelled grenades.

And hit six martyrdom operations gatherings of Peshmerga militia and the crowd on the perimeter and inside the town of Bartella, after enable them to enter parts of the town's heavy air cover, while the town is still experiencing violent clashes between the attacking forces and the forces of the Islamic State.

In the south of Mosul, suicide bomber attacked a car bomb a convoy of Iraqi forces near the town of] advice, and destroyed the fighters of the Islamic State Cougar my vehicle and my vehicle Hummer guided missiles, while the Iraqi forces were able to progress and control over a number of villages.

The media in the U.S. reports on "dueling narratives" but leaves out what ISIS has to say. ISIS' view is getting harder and harder to find with all the censorship, but it's out there. Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga are allowed to post disgusting photos on Twitter of dead ISIS fighters (dragged by cars after death, dumped upside-down in trash bins, hung on poles in public), and al Qaida-associated groups that hate ISIS proliferate, as if they are now somehow the good guys, helping the "moderate" Syrian rebels, but anyone reporting on ISIS' claims with a link seems to get banned. A year ago many ISIS analysts and researchers followed dozens of ISIS Twitter accounts. Now it's a waste of time to even click through their followers -- they are all spin-offs of ISIS foes Jabhat al Nusra.

I want to know all sides of the story, not just what serves U.S. or Iraqi or Peshmerga interests. But although I'm willing to read Amaq's reports of daily events, watch its videos, take a few screengrabs and quote it, I won't link to Amaq. It will just lead to more censorship, and I have always opposed censoring ISIS. War 101, from Sun Tzu and the Art of War: You can't defeat an enemy if you don't understand them. There can be no effective strategy to defeat ISIS without understanding their beliefs and their goals.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

R.I.P. CPO Officer Finan.

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