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ISIS Prison Raid Frees 70 Kurds in Iraq; American Soldier Killed

Image: ISIS Prison Raid Frees 70 Kurds in Iraq; American Soldier Killed
Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters pose for a photo next to a military vehicle bearing the Kurdish flag after they reportedly captured several villages from Islamic State.. (Marwan Ibrahim/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 22 Oct 2015 12:54 PM

An ISIS prison compound raid conducted by American and Kurdish forces in northern Iraq Thursday freed at least 70 Kurds but one U.S. service member died in the process, 

The soldier, who had not been identified, was the first to die since the United States launched attacks on the Islamic State in Iraq in 2014, according to the Washington Post. A military official told the newspaper that at least 12 ISIS soldiers were killed in the raid.

The Post said there has been no official U.S. statement about the raid. It reportedly happened at a prison in Hawija, outside of the Kurdish semi-autonomous region, where fighters supported by Western allies called the peshmerga have fought off the Islamic State.

Kurdish forces said, according to the New York Times, that they took the lead in the raid but American soldiers were on the ground with them. Officials told the Times that American airstrikes cut off roads to the site.

Officials added that Islamic State senior militants were captured by Kurdish and American forces during the raid.

"They cut off roads and raided the place successfully," Najmaldin Karim, the governor of the Kirkuk Province, told the New York Times, confirming the raid. "They were able to take people with them."

Hawija is controlled by the Islamic State and has been a flash point for military action recently, stated the Times. Iraqi and U.S. coalition forces have been increasing pressure against ISIS militants in Baiji, Ramadi and other cities in Iraq and Syria, noted the Times.

An unnamed Kurdish official told the Washington Post that ISIS militants had captured scores of peshmerga fighter and executed some of the prisoners. The official said urgency for the raid spiked when the Islamic State started showing off its prisoners in cages on the back of pickup trucks, threatening to execute more.

The Daily Mail said U.S. special operations forces killed senior Islamic State leader Abu Sayyaf in a Syrian raid in May. Since the start of operations against ISIS, the U.S.-led coalition has conducted 4,933 airstrikes in Iraq and another 2,670 in Syria, noted the Daily Mail.

"The U.S. and our coalition will continue to work with our Iraqi partners to degrade and defeat (ISIS), and return Iraq to the full control of its people," a Pentagon official has said, noted the Daily Mail.


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An ISIS prison compound raid conducted by American and Kurdish forces in northern Iraq Thursday freed at least 70 Kurds but one U.S. service member died in the process,
isis, prison, raid, american, soldier, killed
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2015-54-22
Thursday, 22 Oct 2015 12:54 PM
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