PARIS – A French paratrooper has died in combat while fighting extremists in the Mideast as part of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group, in what appears to be the first official French casualty in the operation.
French President Emmanuel Macron's office said a member of the 13th parachute dragoon regiment was killed Saturday in the Levant, which includes Syria. Macron's office would not provide details or identify the victim, part of a special forces unit. The U.S. military also announced the death.
A French official said it was the first publicly announced combat death since France joined the anti-IS operation in Iraq in 2014, and later expanded its involvement to Syria after IS attacks on France. The official was not authorized to be publicly named discussing military matters.