Wednesday, August 20, 2014

U.S. Attempted Rescue of James Foley, Other Americans

Special Operations Forces Mounted Unsuccessful Operation to Try to Save the Journalist and Others Held by Extremists

By Adam Entous, WSJ
Updated Aug. 20, 2014 6:57 p.m. ET

U.S. Special Operations forces mounted an unsuccessful operation inside Syria earlier this summer to try to rescue several Americans held by Islamic extremists, including the American journalist who was beheaded this week, senior Obama administration officials said.

President Barack Obama ordered the operation, the first by the U.S. inside Syrian territory since the start of the civil war, after the U.S. received intelligence that the Americans were being held by the extremist group known as Islamic State at a specific facility in a sparsely populated area inside Syria. Among the group was James Foley, the U.S. journalist who was beheaded in a grisly video released yesterday.

The officials declined to say precisely where and when the operation took place.

Several dozen Special Operations forces took part in the helicopter-borne operation as drones and fighter aircraft circled overhead.

After landing near the site and approaching the facility by foot, the special-operations force came under small-arms fire, which they responded to, the officials said. Several Islamic State fighters were killed in the exchange of fire on the ground, the officials said. One member of the special-operations forces team was slightly injured in the exchange of fire, the officials said.

(More here.)


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