ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A United States Army soldier recently died in a “non-combat related incident” while supporting the US-led coalition in Iraq, the Department of Defense confirmed on Tuesday.
Javion Sullivan, 24, was killed in Iraq on Jan. 8 while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in the Anbar Province, the Department of Defense said, adding that the incident is still under investigation.
Kurdistan 24 was unable to obtain further details about the incident or cause of death.
Before his deployment to Iraq where he joined the US-led coalition in their campaign against the Islamic State (IS), the 24-year-old had been stationed in Fort Hood, Texas where he was assigned to the 16th Signal Company, 11th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade.
According to his aunt, Patricia Hackett, in an interview with Fox News, Sullivan joined the US Army “to make a better life for his family, fight for his country.”
Sullivan is the first US soldier to lose his life this year while supporting anti-IS operations in Iraq.
During a press conference at the US embassy in Baghdad, American Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman did not mention the death but suggested the presence of US troops in the country would “gradually” decrease.
Since the US-led coalition began its Operation Inherent Resolve campaign in late 2014, 22 service members—including Sullivan—have lost their lives in combat and non-combat related incidents.
In August 2017, the US Army announced that two soldiers were killed in operations against IS in northern Iraq.
In May 2016, another soldier was killed near Mosul during an offensive against the extremist group.
The majority of US forces operate within heavily fortified and guarded bases where they collect and share intelligence with Iraqi forces and provide logistical support.