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U.S. Soldier Killed in Iraq Rescuing 70 Kurds from ISIS

U.S. Soldier Killed in Iraq Rescuing 70 Kurds from ISIS

By Michael R. Gordon for The New York Times

BAGHDAD — American and Kurdish commandos raided an Islamic State outpost near the northern Iraqi town of Hawija, freeing prisoners there and capturing some of the militants themselves, Iraqi officials said on Thursday.

American military officials declined to comment on the details of the classified operation, some of which remained unclear. But as described by Iraqi officials in the area, the mission appeared to be a significant joint strike against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, at a time when Iraqi and American officials are trying to mount a wider counteroffensive against the militants.

Iraqi officials said the raid involved American helicopters, Kurdish and American Special Operations forces, and airstrikes.

The officials said the objective had been a prison run by the militants at a village east of Hawija. According to these accounts, American helicopters flew the commandos to the site.

Kurdish special forces were said to have been in the lead, but American commandos were also on the ground. American airstrikes were also carried out to cut the roads leading to the site. Senior militants from the Islamic State were captured, and some of their prisoners were said to have been freed, the officials said.

“They cut off roads and raided the place successfully,” one of the officials who confirmed the raid, Najmaldin Karim, the governor of surrounding Kirkuk Province, said in a telephone interview. “They were able to take people with them.”

In Washington, two senior United States military officials confirmed the broad outlines of the operation but refused to provide details.

Read more at The New York Times...

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