A U.S. Marine belonging to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (search) was killed in action Thursday while conducting security and stability operations in the Al Anbar province in western Iraq, the military said.

The military statement did not give further details saying "the release of more details about the incident could place our personnel at greater risk."

The identity of the dead Marine was being withheld until his family is notified.

At least 1,339 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an unofficial Associated Press count.