Militant website/AP/FIle
This undated file image posted on a militant website last year shows fighters from the Islamic State marching through Raqqa, Syria.

Combating ISIS: 70 prisoners rescued from 'impending mass execution'

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.

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.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Combating ISIS: 70 prisoners rescued from 'impending mass execution'
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today