A U.S. soldier received lacerations to the face after coming under enemy fire early Wednesday, a Pentagon spokesman said Friday. The soldier, whose name was not released, was shot at while in a guard tower in Besemaya, south of Baghdad, said Army Col. Steve Warren. It marks the first time that an American service member has been wounded by ground fire since the Pentagon sent troops to Iraq last year as part of an international effort to defeat the Islamic State militant group that swept through the country last year.
While this is of course trivial compared to the mass casualties and suffering of Iraqis, I make a point of posting this because the danger of mission creep is growing, both by push, as Iraq is dependent on Iranian assistance and Shiite militias for its own ground forces, and the U.S. finds that geopolitically awkard; and by pull, as U.S. troops are close to the front lines and need to provide their own force protection and clear their own perimeters. U.S. troops are on the battlefield; and once they are there, it's very easy for their role to grow.
I also note that this was south of Baghdad, which makes one wonder who actually took the shot.