Pentagon says 82nd Airborne soldiers were killed in Iraq by accident

Sgt. Allen L. Stigler, 22, of Arlington, Texas, and Sgt. Roshain E. Brooks, 30, of Brooklyn, New York, were killed while engaging the enemy with artillery, according to the division.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon spokesman says the two U.S. soldiers killed Sunday in Iraq were casualties of a U.S. artillery “mishap.”

The soldiers have been identified as 22-year-old Sgt. Allen L.  Jr. of Arlington, Texas, and 30-year-old Sgt.  E. Brooks of , New York.

Both were canon crewmembers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

Col. Pat Work, commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, said his team extends its most sincere condolences to the family and friends of the paratroopers.

“Sergeants Brooks and Stigler were courageous patriots and paratroopers who served our coalition and the people or Iraq with extraordinary commitment,” he told the Fayettville Observer. “Their personal commitments to our campaign against ISIS were extraordinary and we are incredibly proud to have served with them.”

The Pentagon spokesman, Army Col. Rob Manning, says an Army artillery unit was firing on an Islamic State mortar position “when a mishap occurred.”

ISIS claimed responsibility for the deaths, stating the fighters fired Grad rockets on U.S. forces in east of Tal Afar town, located west of Mosul. Manning says there is no indication that IS played a role in the deaths. When asked for more details he said he cannot provide other details because the incident is under investigation.

According to the Fayetteville Observer, Stigler joined the Army in November 2013. Before being assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division in 2015, he served in the Second Infantry Division in Camp Casey, Korea from May 2015 to June 2015.

Before Brooks was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division in 2016, he was stationed at Fort Hood where he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014.  The Paratroopers were posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and Combat Action Badge.

Five others suffered injuries that Manning told the Fayetteville Observer are not life-threatening.  Including Sunday’s deaths, the United States’ Operation Inherent Resolve against Islamic State has resulted in 43 U.S. soldier fatalities since the mission began in 2014, according to DoD data.

Popular Military contributed to this report

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