American Special Forces Soldier Killed During Hostage Rescue

By Faye Higbee

A Special Forces mission overnight in conjunction with Iraqi or Kurdish forces (depending on which media you read), rescued 70 hostages from an ISIS-run prison at Hawija in northern Iraq. One American Special Forces soldier was killed during the operation, but no name has yet been released.

This is hostage rescue training conducted by the US Military and Iraqi Security forces is from 2009- File photo

Media confusion

Fox News wrote,

“People were chained to walls,” one well-placed military source said.

“A mass atrocity was averted,” a senior U.S. defense source tells Fox News. Rescue forces moved in when it was apparent that ISIS hostage takers were planning to kill the hostages…

One military source says most hostages were Iraqi security forces, many were from the Iraqi Army, and some were police. Some of those rescued were part of the “Sunni Awakening,” the fight against Al Qaeda that saw Sunnis alongside U.S. forces almost a decade ago. 

Al-Arabiya reported,

A U.S. official told AFP: “It was an Iraqi operation” with the U.S. military in an “advise and assist” role, adding that the aim was to “free hostages.”

Other U.S. media outlets also reported on an operation in Hawija without giving any numbers on U.S. military casualties.

According to The New York Times, the operation saw the mobilization of U.S. helicopters, as well as Kurdish and U.S. Special Operations forces.

CBS reported,

One U.S. soldier was killed as American Special Forces conducted a raid in support of with Kurdish Iraqi forces to free dozens of Kurds held in Northern Iraq, U.S. defense officials said Friday…

In February of this year, ISIS posted videos online showing militants parading captured Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in cages through the streets of Hawija.

The Peshmerga have been one of the most reliable and successful forces on the ground fighting against ISIS in both northern Iraq and Syria, and the U.S. works closely with them.

The raid early Thursday morning took place east of Hawija, but U.S. officials had not confirmed the exact location. Locals said as many as four helicopters took part in the operation.

Who did what to whom?

Few details are immediately available, and no names have been released.

Witnesses said that it appeared that several ISIS members were captured by the coalition forces, but that has not been confirmed by American officials. When we get some accurate information on who did what to whom, we’ll let you know.