In this Nov. 6, 2002, photo, Charlie Keating IV, 16, poses for a photo in Phoenix for an upcoming series on the Discovery channel that he took part in. (Sherrie Buzby/The Arizona Republic via AP)
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The killing of a Navy SEAL by ISIS fighters highlights the increasing risks U.S. troops face in Iraq and Syria as they inch ever closer toward the extremists' frontlines.ISIS fighters Tuesday used suicide bombers and firepower to blast their way past Kurdish peshmerga forces that U.S. troops were supporting north of Mosul in northern Iraq. Since the start of the campaign, the U.S. military and its coalition partners have launched more than 12,000 air strikes against ISIS, and the Pentagon has deployed around 5,000 troops in Iraq.Last month, the Pentagon said U.S. military advisers will start working with Iraqi forces at the battalion level, meaning greater numbers will be physically closer to the fight in Iraq than before.Officially, more than 4,000 U.S. forces are in Iraq, but when temporary assignments are factored in, the number stretches beyond 5,500 .The casualty numbers are tiny compared to the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where more than 5,300 U.S. troops were killed in combat.
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