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Soldier killed in Iraq hostage mission identified

He was wounded during an assault on an Islamic State prison.

By Ed Adamczyk
Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler was killed in action in Iraq this week as he aided the release of Kurdish hostages from an Islamic state prison. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Defense
Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler was killed in action in Iraq this week as he aided the release of Kurdish hostages from an Islamic state prison. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Defense

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The Department of Defense on Friday identified the U.S. soldier killed rescuing Kurdish hostages in Iraq this week was Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler, of Roland, Okla.

Wheeler, 39, was killed Thursday from small arms fire while providing support for an Iraqi Peshmerga operation. Seventy hostages held by the Islamic State were rescued from a Hawijah, Iraq, prison.

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A Defense Department statement said the mission was deliberately planned and was consistent with U.S. policy to train and assist Iraqi forces.

Wheeler was injured and died while receiving medical care.

He was assigned to U.S. Army Special Operations Command in Ft. Bragg, N.C.

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