Pentagon identifies two young soldiers, aged 22 & 30, who died in artillery ‘mishap’ in ISIS gunfight


Two young soldiers who were killed in Iraq during an artillery ‘mishap’ that injured five others have been identified by the Pentagon.

Sgt. Roshain Euvince Brooks, 30, and Spc. Allen Levi Stigler Jr, 22, were involved in a heated battle with ISIS fighters when the accident – details of which have not yet been released – occurred.

‘There is no indication that ISIS had anything to do with this,’ Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning told Army Times. ‘The injured soldiers were [evacuated by air] and two of the soldiers subsequently died.’

Sgt. Roshain Brooks (pictured), 30, and Spc. Allen Stigler Jr, 22, were both killed in Iraq due to an artillery 'mishap' while taking on an ISIS mortar position, the Pentagon has confirmed   Spc. Allen Stigler Jr

Manning said that they had been running a counter-fire operation on an ISIS mortar position when they were killed.

He said he didn’t know whether the accident was due to human error or a misfire in the artillery equipment.

The other five solders’ injuries were not life-threatening, he said, adding that the incident is still under investigation.

Both soldiers were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Stigler (pictured) received a posthumous promotion to sergeant; both men were awarded several medals after their deaths. Exactly what happened is being investigatedBrooks was from Brooklyn, New York, and was on his first deployment to Iraq after joining the army in 2012 and serving at Fort Hood, Texas, before joining the 82nd.

He had previously been deployed to Afghanistan from June-November 2014.

Stigler was from Arlington, Texas, and joined the Army in November 2013, serving in South Korea from May 2014-June 2015. This was his first combat deployment.

Stigler received a posthumous promotion to sergeant after his death, and both men were awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and Combat Action Badge.

‘Sergeants Brooks and Stigler were courageous patriots and paratroopers who served our coalition and the people of Iraq with extraordinary commitment,’ said Col. Pat Work, 2nd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division’s commander, in a statement.

‘Our team extends its most sincere condolences to their families and friends. Their personal commitments to our campaign against ISIS were extraordinary, and we are incredibly proud to have served with them.’

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

In the wake of the incident, Stigler’s family responded to their loss online. Shonta Stigler, his cousin, posted up photos of him in uniform with the message ‘Miss u cuzin.’

Another relative, Rosie Stigler, made the young man’s photo into her cover photo, inviting messages of condolence from her friend.

Stigler's cousin posted this on her Facebook page. The Pentagon said that neither man had died directly as a result of ISIS

More than 5,000 US troops are taking part in the war against IS in Iraq, according the Pentagon.

The vast majority operate within heavily guarded bases, collecting and sharing intelligence with Iraqi forces and providing logistical support.

But as the fight has evolved over the past three years, more and more US troops are operating close to the front lines.

In addition to the two troops killed Sunday, five other U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq in the fight against IS, including two in the battle to retake the northern city of Mosul.

More than 1,200 Iraqi forces were killed in the battle for Mosul and more than 6,000 wounded, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said earlier this month.

Iraq’s prime minister declared victory against IS in Mosul in July, and Iraqi forces are now preparing to retake the IS-held town of Tel Afar, to the west.

The men were killed while in Iraq (seen in file photo). Brooks had previously served in Afghanistan but this was Stigler's first combat deployment

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