First US casualty in the war against the Islamic State 42310151

Defence & Security News - (USA)
First US casualty in the war against the Islamic State

The United States had their first casualty of war in the war against the Islamic State. On 22 October a US special operations soldier was killed during a raid at an IS prison site. It was an Kurdish Peshmerga operation assisted by the US special operations forces and US helicopters. It was a decision taken by the Defence Secretary Ashton B. Carter.

First US casualty in the war against the Islamic State
A US Army Boeing CH-47F in preparation for a night flight (Photo: US Army)

The Kurdish Peshmerga fighters had concrete intelligence that the Islamic State was to execute the prisoners at the prison site in Hawija town, which is under the jihadists’ control, between Baghdad and Mosul. Their intelligence was reinforced by the fact that the jihadists had executed family members of military and police officers.

The US supported the operation with operators of the Delta Force, Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters and fighter aircraft that bombed targets in the area before and after the raid. The Kurds came under heavy fire during the operation and that forced the US special operators to maneuver and attack in order to gain the initiative. That is when they suffered the casualty. They finally managed to free the hostages who were 69 instead of 20 as they initially knew from the intelligence. Among them were some former IS fighters who were considered as traitors and would be executed.

The news has been a proof of the American involvement in ground operations. While that has been true for Syria, it has not been proved for Iraq. Such operations are an effort for the local and US forces to regain the initiative and exert more pressure on the Islamic State.



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