Update (0923 EST): Pro-militia sources are still claiming that three additional French troops were killed as well as three Iraqi troops after their helicopter borne landing failed in the al-Ayth area of Tikrit, Iraq. These troops came from the K1 base in Kirkuk. The French and Iraqi forces were reportedly surrounded and required assistance from an American Quick Reaction Force. They are reporting eight total coalition casulaties, although no U.S. troosp have been reported in that number. The French government has not confirmed more than one soldier killed.
The French government has just confirmed that Special Forces Sergeant Nicholas Mazier from Number 10 Parachute Commando unit was killed fighting ISIS in an operation in Saladin Governate, Iraq.
The report reads below:
“It is with very deep emotion that the President of the Republic learned of the death of Sergeant Nicolas Mazier of the No. 10 Air Parachute Commando, killed yesterday in Iraq while his unit was supporting an Iraqi unit in an anti-terrorist operation. .
He bows with deep respect before the sacrifice of this soldier, fallen in combat in the accomplishment of his mission.
The Head of State sends his most sincere condolences to his family and loved ones and assures them of the Nation’s solidarity in these painful circumstances. He also expresses his support for the men and women of his unit and in particular for Sergeant Mazier’s comrades injured at his side.
The President of the Republic wishes to salute the courage of the French soldiers engaged in Iraq. It reaffirms France’s determination in its fight against terrorism alongside Iraq.”
The helicopter-borne operation was detected more than twelve hours ago and pro-militia sources reported that up to five French and Iraqi operators were killed when ISIS targeted their helicopter while landing. It is not currently clear if those reports we’re accurate. Those sources also claimed that a contingent of French operators were cut off from the main body and on the run in Tikrit. This is developing.
This is the third French soldier to die in Iraq this month, making it the bloodiest for Operation Chammal. France launched Opération Chammal in 2014 to help curtail the expansion of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and to support the Iraqi Army. As of 2019, only two other French troops have died in the country.
The Commando n° 10 is a special forces unit used airport seizures, high value target (HVT) neutralization, counter terrorism. The CPA 10 is under the umbrella of the Commandement des opérations spéciales.