This came off the wires this morning but the details are still sketchy. Overnight in Iraq, US special forces working in conjunction with Peshmerga fighters effected the rescue of a group of Kurdish fighters held captive by ISIS near Hawija in Kirkuk. Conflicting reports indicate that there were injuries on our side but no fatalities, with others saying that at least one US soldier was killed. The details from NBC News, such as they are.
U.S. special operations forces suffered casualties during a hostage rescue mission against ISIS in Iraq overnight, U.S. officials said Thursday.
The exact number and extent of the injuries was not immediately clear, the officials told NBC News.
The U.S. team rescued a number of Kurdish fighters held captive by ISIS in a mission that was requested by the Iraqi government, the officials said.
The U.S. is the only coalition military force conducting operations in Iraq with the capability to launch such a mission.
A White House official described the rescue mission to NBC News as “successful” and as an example of “collaboration” between U.S.-led coalition forces and Peshmerga fighters versus ISIS.
CBS News has a different version, saying we lost one of our troops while breaking into the prison.
One U.S. soldier was killed as American Special Forces conducted a joint raid with Iraqi forces to free dozens of Kurdish hostages in Northern Iraq, a U.S. defense official told CBS News national security correspondent David Martin on Thursday.
About 70 hostages were rescued in the operation, which local witnesses told CBS News was essentially a raid on a prison run by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) near the city of Hawija, in the largely Kurdish province of Kirkuk.
We’re getting the usual “ISIS leaders were captured” reports, but no names are given so it’s probably not anyone near the top of the food chain. The fact that we’re in there “at the request of Iraq” is at least something of a positive sign, as opposed to their just asking Iran to do it. Of course, given the current state of relationships all the way around that would probably have been a bit dicey.
We’ll update this when we learn more, but for now the early reporting is, as always, suspect.