The overnight IS raid left US special forces dead
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The overnight IS raid left US special forces dead

US Army Delta Force.

On October 22, a US special forces soldier died while participating in a sudden, daring raid on an Islamic State (IS) rebel base to rescue prisoners who were about to be executed by the rebels.

Ask for help at night

According to Foreign Policy, the battle between US soldiers and IS rebels was not a pre-planned action.

Accordingly, 30 US special forces soldiers – believed to be part of the army’s Delta task force – are on a mission to advise and support the Kurdish militia (Peshmerga) near the town of Hawijah, southern Kirkuk province.

US intelligence discovered that large mass graves had been dug inside a nearby IS base, and they predicted that prisoners held in this base could be executed in the morning.

US special forces, acting as advisors, helped the Peshmerga plan the rescue.

The situation changed quickly when Kurdish militiamen  exchanged fire with IS rebels hiding in the base.

This is the first time the Peshmerga have asked the US for help in a hostage rescue operation.

During the firefight, an American special forces officer was hit and seriously injured.


After the fighting, the Kurdish militia said about 20 IS rebels were killed, and no civilians were injured.

The overnight IS raid left US special forces dead

Kurdish militia fighting against IS in Iraq.

They were mostly Sunni civilians from a nearby town, along with 20 Iraqi security personnel.

US defense officials were unable to provide a clear explanation as to why the raid was conducted, as no `high value` targets were believed to be on the base.

A statement released by IS later claimed that this `failed operation` had left many US soldiers and Kurdish militiamen dead and wounded, and accused the US of bombing the prison, killing dozens of `prisoners`.

Questions about America’s role

The above raid raises questions about the role of US forces in Iraq, because President Barack Obama has stated that US troops are present in Iraq only to perform advisory and support missions, not directly participate.

In May, US Delta special forces successfully raided the home of Abu Sayyaf, a senior leader of IS rebels in Syria.

`When performing support missions, they are fully allowed to defend themselves as well as protect friendly forces, preventing the risk of civilians being killed,` Mr. Cook emphasized.

General Lloyd Austin, commander of the US Central Command, further explained that the raid took place at the request of the Kurdish militia and was entirely within the `advising and supporting` mission of US special forces in Iraq.

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