US soldier injured by 'direct fire' in Iraq

US soldier injured by 'direct fire' in Iraq
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A U.S. soldier in Iraq was injured by “direct fire” earlier this week, the Pentagon said Friday. 

It is the first time a U.S. soldier in Iraq has been injured by direct fire in the campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren. 

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“One soldier received lacerations as a result of small arms fire. These are non-life threatening,” Warren said. “He got scratched on the nose.” 

Warren said the soldier was on the ground by a guard tower and received some small arms fire “from an unidentified individual.”

The injury took place around 3 a.m. local time on March 11, at a military base located in al Bismayah in central Iraq. 

According to Warren, the soldier, along with another in the guard tower saw some light and was trying to identify the source of it. 

“They saw a flash, heard a crack,” and the soldier on the ground looked over a barrier and received the laceration, Warren said. 

“Uncertain whether it was a ricochet … but it was certainly a result of the gunshot,” Warren said. He said the soldiers returned fire. 

There are approximately 100 U.S. troops at the base training Iraqi forces, as part of the U.S.-led strategy to defeat ISIS in Iraq.