A BuzzFeed.com article reveals details about how a secret U.S. military mission in Iraq in the fall of 2015 resulted in the death of an Oklahoma soldier.
The article, 'Inside the Real US Ground War On ISIS', describes how Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler, from Roland, Oklahoma, was a part of the Army's elite Delta Force which raided an ISIS compound near Hawija, Iraq on October 22, 2015.
That compound had been converted into an ISIS prison and intelligence reports indicated dozens of hostages were going to be executed that day.
Kurdish soldiers who were with Wheeler and the Delta team interviewed for the article say they killed 20 ISIS militants and freed 69 prisoners in the raid.
The article says the U.S. soldiers and the Kurds worked together on a number of missions and on this particular raid, the Kurdish military leaders said Wheeler led the way when the Black Hawk helicopters landed outside the compound.
"Josh was a very selfless guy," a senior Kurdish officer told BuzzFeed.com
They said U.S. commandos live and train with the Kurdish military in northern Iraq at a location which officially doesn't exist. The Kurds say the location is now called Camp Wheeler. They say Wheeler's name is engraved on a rock at the base in his honor.
Since Wheeler's death, the Department of Defense says two more Americans have been killed fighting ISIS. A Marine Staff Sergeant was killed by an ISIS rocket at his base near Camp Swift in Iraq on March 19, 2016,and a Navy SEAL, Charles H. Keating IV, died May 3, 2016, fighting alongside Kurdish soldiers near Tel Asqaf.