At a historic meeting in Havana with Cuban President Raul Castro, President Obama paused at the top of his remarks to address the loss of a U.S. Marine in Iraq over the weekend.
"I want to go just briefly off topic because during this weekend I received news that one of our outstanding United States armed service members, Marine Staff Sergeant Louis F. Cardin of Temecula, California, was killed in northern Iraq as we assisted the Iraqi government in dealing with ISIL, the terrorist organization there," Obama said.
I'd like to offer my condolences to the family, friends and fellow Marines of Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin. pic.twitter.com/YiTPh6ZPKr— COL Steve Warren (@OIRSpox) March 21, 2016
"And I just wanted to give my thoughts and prayers to the family there and those who have been injured," the president continued. "It's a reminder that even as we embark on this historic visit, there are U.S. armed service members who are sacrificing each and every day on behalf of our freedom and our safety, so I'm grateful to them."
Cardin was killed Saturday by an ISIS rocket attack while on base near Makhmur, Iraq. Several other Marines were wounded. His unit deployed to the region over the past few weeks and the Defense Department announced its arrival just yesterday.
Cardin is only the second American service member to be killed in combat in Iraq since the U.S. military returned to the country in late 2015.