An American man believed to be the first US citizen to be killed alongside Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria was reportedly confirmed as dead today by US officials.
Keith Broomfield, a Massachusetts native, died fighting alongside the Kurdish peshmerga, State Department officials confirmed to NBC News on Wednesday. It remains unclear when Broomfield was killed.
Kurdish fighters' social media accounts first reported Broomfield's death, which was said to have been around Kobane. There has been no official confirmation from Kurdish forces of the 36-year-old's death, but NBC News reported that Idris Nassan, Kurdish co-deputy foreign minister of the Kobani district, said an American who had joined Kurdish fighters had died in battle.
Broomfield is widely being reported as the first American killed fighting against IS.
Broomfield's mother, Donna, in Westminster, Massachusetts, told NBC News she was aware of her son's death and added, "I didn't want him to go but I didn't have a choice in the matter." She told the network that he left to fight alongside peshmerga forces about four months ago and that she had texted with him minimally.
The news of Broomfield's death today comes as the White House announced it will be sending several hundred more troops to help train local forces in their fight against IS in Iraq.
Amid Syria's ongoing civil war, IS now reportedly controls half the country in the east and the south.
Watch the Vice News documentary, The Islamic State.
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