Subscribe
First Look

Combating ISIS: 70 prisoners rescued from 'impending mass execution' (+video)

A US soldier was killed during the raid, the first American serviceman to die in Iraq since the United States ended combat operations in 2011.

  • close
    This undated file image posted on a militant website last year shows fighters from the Islamic State marching through Raqqa, Syria.
    Militant website/AP/FIle
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

US and Iraqi forces raided a compound held by the Islamic State militant group, freeing around 70 prisoners, US officials announced on Thursday. 

Dozens of US and Iraqi peshmerga forces descended on the compound after receiving intelligence suggesting that prisoners faced “imminent mass execution,” according to the Pentagon. In addition to rescuing dozen of prisoners, the raiding forces captured or killed several militants and obtained vital information about the Islamic State.

One American soldier was killed during the raid, the first US serviceman to die in Iraq since the United States ceased combat operations in 2011. The Pentagon has labeled the operation a training mission, saying the US special operation forces participated in a support capacity at the request of the Kurdish Regional Government, according to a written statement from Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook.

The mission was "consistent with our counter-ISIL effort to train, advise and assist Iraqi forces," since the US began its mission to counter the Islamic State, Mr. Cook said.

The circumstances surrounding the death of the American soldier are currently unknown. He was wounded during the mission and taken back to Erbil, where he died. Four peshmerga soldiers were wounded during the mission.

A US defense official, who requested anonymity, told the Associated Press that the US soldiers’ roles in the rescue were mainly relegated to transportation, intelligence, air support, and advisory roles during the raid. Another anonymous source told a Reuters source that the US special operations soldiers also raided a house where commanders of the Islamic State were gathering.

Hawija, a town close to where the mission was conducted, is a hotbed of Islamic State activity. A decision to conduct a raid so close to the stronghold marks a bold move for Iraqi forces.

"This operation was deliberately planned and launched after receiving information that the hostages faced imminent mass execution," Cook said to the AP.

This report includes material from the Associated Press and Reuters.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK