First American Soldier Is Killed In Combat In Iraq Since 2011 Troop Exit

Jihad Watch pointed out: "The first U.S. soldier killed in Iraq since 2011. The captives were facing “mass execution.” Why mount these dangerous half-measure operations at all, instead of taking genuine action to destroy the Islamic State, as Obama promised to do?"

From the Washington Post:
American and Kurdish commandos raided an Islamic State prison in Iraq on Thursday, freeing about 70 captives believed to be facing “mass execution” and leaving one U.S. soldier dead, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

It was the first time a member of the U.S. military had been killed in a combat situation in Iraq since President Obama pulled out all U.S. troops in 2011.

In a pre-dawn operation, soldiers from the Army’s Delta Force, supporting a team of elite Kurdish soldiers, descended on a militant compound in the town of Hawijah, where officials believed that dozens of Kurdish fighters known as peshmerga were being held captive.

Militants from the Islamic State, the extremist group that controls a vast area across Iraq and Syria, were planning an “imminent mass execution” of prisoners, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook told reporters later in the day.

While peshmerga captives were not present at the site, the U.S. and Kurdish forces freed dozens of others, including more than 20 members of the Iraqi security ­forces, Cook said. Five Islamic State militants were captured, officials said, and at least 10 were killed. In a statement, the Kurdish Security Council said more than 20 militants were killed.

One soldier from the Delta Force team, which numbered in the dozens, was shot when U.S. forces entered the militant compound. He later died. The Pentagon has not identified the slain soldier.

U.S. and Kurdish officials hailed the raid — in which three or four Kurdish fighters were wounded — as a success. While U.S. Special Operations forces have staged several raids on Islamic State compounds in Syria since last year, Thursday’s operation was the first known raid of its kind against the jihadist group in Iraq.

The maneuver underscored the risks facing troops in Iraq despite the Obama administration’s efforts to keep U.S. forces­ far from combat and avoid the bloodshed of the last Iraq war, when more than 4,000 American service members died. There are now about 3,300 U.S. service members stationed in Iraq.

An Iraqi official said the Iraqi Defense Ministry in Baghdad learned of the operation from news media reports. He said that Defense Ministry officials were upset they had not been consulted before the operation.

Iraq’s Arab-led government has long sparred with Kurds over growing Kurdish power, oil revenue sharing and political independence in their northern enclave, and the United States has to balance these internal rivalries as it focuses on the Islamic State.

Hakim al-Zamili, chairman of the Iraqi parliament’s security and defense committee, said there were “lots of question marks” about an operation in which U.S. forces­ worked hand in hand with peshmerga forces­ far south of the northern Kurdish region where they have typically operated. [...]

0 comments. Leave a comment below.:

Post a Comment

Spam and abuse will not be published. You can use some HTML tags in your comments.

Thank you for reading and commenting.