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Two US troops killed in anti-ISIS mission in northern Iraq

Two U.S. troops were killed Sunday during an operation against ISIS in northern Iraq, the U.S. military announced Monday.

The troops were killed by “enemy forces” during a joint operation with Iraqi security forces to “eliminate an ISIS terrorist stronghold” in a mountainous area of north central Iraq, Operation Inherent Resolve said in a statement.

No additional information about the incident was provided.

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The names of the service members who were killed were not released, following Pentagon policy to wait to announce them until after next of kin is notified.

Sunday’s deaths were the first U.S. combat deaths in Iraq this year, with the last U.S. combat death there happening in August.

The United States has about 5,200 troops in Iraq fighting ISIS. U.S. and Iraqi officials declared victory over ISIS in that country in 2017, but the terrorist group continues to pose a threat as it seeks to mount a comeback.

A government watchdog warned last month that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would “likely” mean an ISIS resurgence there.