US Secret Task Force Delta
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US Secret Task Force Delta

Delta is the top secret elite force of the US military.

On October 23, the Pentagon officially announced the identity of the first US soldier killed on the Iraq battlefield in the past 4 years: Joshua Wheeler, 39 years old.

See more: The moment of death of a prisoner at the hands of IS

Along with Wheeler’s identity and age, the Pentagon’s statement described the fallen soldier’s unit as `Special Operations Command`.

According to the Washington Post, this phrase is an euphemism used for the 12th time since 2003, when describing American soldiers killed in Iraq.

They died in hot spots of insurgents such as Qaim, Ramadi, or like the October 22 raid, Hawija.

Delta has always been the core of America’s victory in the war in Iraq.

Delta Force is believed to have returned to Iraq last year after the Islamic State group (IS) occupied Mosul.

The existence of Delta Force, although theoretically classified, is not difficult to detect.

Several memoirs by former special forces describe the process of training infantrymen, and even marines, into `special forces` that can carry out missions with minimal preparation time, in areas under siege.

Although in recent years it seems to have been surpassed by its naval special forces colleagues, SEAL Team 6, Delta has always attracted attention from the public.

The soldiers in this unit also became famous because of the book and movie `Black Hawk Down`, about the 1993 battle in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Delta Force was deployed by the US military around the globe, from Colombia, where they helped hunt down drug lord Pablo Escobar, to Afghanistan, where they launched their first major helicopter attack, less than 6 weeks after the incident.

Main battlefield

However, Iraq remains the focus of Delta’s operations.

Credited for keeping Israel out of the 1991 Gulf War, when it contained Iraqi Scud missile attacks, Delta returned to the United States when the attacks ended.

In 2003, Delta operations in Iraq were restored after the US marched into the country, crossing the western deserts in search of Saddam Hussein and his loyalists.

Delta Force fought in Iraq like other American soldiers, attacking al-Qaeda in Iraq with night raids, leaving even undercover reporters covering the war unaware.

When US troops withdrew from Iraq at the end of 2011, Delta also returned home, but a special operations officer said they still maintained a force here.

The rise of IS from the ashes of al-Qaeda in Iraq ended Delta’s `relaxation` period.

This time, the base of the operation is not in Baghdad or Anbar province, where Delta has had its fiercest battles, but in the city of Irbil.

US Secret Task Force Delta

Irbil (or alternatively spelled Erbil) is a city located in northern Iraq.

The most elite Kurdish anti-terrorism unit was established with the support of Delta.

Delta’s latest deployment in Iraq can be seen as a return to this country and a return to the original purpose of the force’s founding.

When Delta deployed on a mission in Syria in July 2014 to try to rescue American citizens held by IS, they failed and the hostages were murdered not long after.

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