A U.S. Marine was killed in northern Iraq after ISIS militants launched a rocket attack on a base near Makhmur, the Defense Department announced Saturday. The service member was providing force protection in the area, according to a statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook. The incident reportedly occurred around 9:30 a.m. local time. Cook didn't identify the casualty, pending notification of next of kin, but said several other Marines were also wounded and were being treated for "varying injuries." "Our thoughts and prayers are with the service members involved, their families and their coalition teammates who will continue the fight against ISIL with resolve and determination," he said in a statement, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, also known as ISIL. The fatality marks the second combat death since the June 2014 start of Operation Inherent Resolve, the name of the U.S.-led military operation against the militant group. Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler, 39, of Roland, Oklahoma, died Oct. 22 in Kirkuk Province, Iraq, from wounds received by enemy small-arms fire. Wheeler, who completed more than a dozen tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, was fatally wounded while fighting alongside Kurdish Peshmerga forces in a U.S. Special Operations helicopter assault on a prison compound run by ISIS in northern Iraq that freed about 70 hostages, officials said. The U.S. more than 4,000 troops in Iraq, mostly serving as trainers and advisers to Iraqi security forces. The figure also includes Special Operations forces. --Brendan McGarry can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
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