The soldier was also killed on the same day that a US general said that the most US troops here would be out by mid-December. - File Photo

BAGHDAD: A US soldier has been killed in northern Iraq, the US military said on Friday, the first American service member to die in an attack here since the US announced its forces would depart by year's end.

“A US service member was killed Thursday while conducting operations in northern Iraq,” the military said in a brief statement, without providing further details.

It is the first time a US soldier has been killed in an attack in Iraq since US President Barack Obama announced on October 21 that US forces would leave by the end of this year, after negotiations between Washington and Baghdad on a post-2011 US military training mission fell through.

The soldier was also killed on the same day that a US general said that the most US troops here would be out by mid-December.

“As I look at the plan, I think it's clear to me that by the time we get to about mid-December or so, the vast majority of the US forces in Iraq - we plan to have them withdrawn from Iraq by that time,” said Major General Thomas Spoehr, deputy commanding general of US forces in Iraq.

Thursday's death brings to 4,478 the number of US soldiers who have been killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, according to an AFP tally based on data compiled by icasualties.org.

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