Soldier from Hanford killed during strike in Iraq, DOD says

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A soldier from Hanford was killed in a defense strike, along with another U.S. service member, in Iraq on Wednesday, the Department of Defense said.

The DOD identified Army Spc. Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias, 27, and Air Force Staff Sgt. Marshal D. Roberts, 28, of Owasso, Oklahoma, as the two service members who died by "enemy indirect fire" at Camp Taji in Iraq.

The DOD identified Army Spc. Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias, 27, of Hanford, as one of two service members who died by "enemy indirect fire" at Camp Taji in Iraq. (US Army)



Officials say the operation targeted five weapons storage facilities belonging to the Kata'ib Hizbollah militia. A service member from the United Kingdom was also killed in the attack, and 14 others were wounded.

"The United States will not tolerate attacks against our people, our interests, or our allies," Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper said in a press release. "As we have demonstrated in recent months, we will take any action necessary to protect our forces in Iraq and the region."

The incident is still under investigation.

Mendez Covarrubias had been assigned to the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas.
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