Kurdish Peshmerga forces fire locations of ISIS militants in norther Iraq. File photo
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DAMASCUS – The Kurdish troops and U.S. Special Forces were able Thursday to rescue in a raid in northern Iraq some 70 hostages, facing “imminent mass execution” by the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS), according to U.S. and Kurdish officials.
The operation targeted a school near the northern town of Hawija –which has been taken as a military base by the terror group.
The joint operation has liberated dozens of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters who were kept captives at the school earlier this year.
“The operation had been planned and launched at the request of Kurdish officials who received confidential reports that the hostages faced imminent mass execution by the terror group,” the Pentagon said.
“The joint troops arrived in an area near ISIS-run prison of Hawija at dawn. Their arrival was followed by an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition warplanes,” local sources told ARA News.
Several reports said that one of the key ISIS leaders, Nema Arbid Nayef al-Jabouri (also known as Abu Fatima), was targeted in the same raid.
Also, joint Iraqi and U.S. force conducted a parachutist operation in the small village of Fadeekha east Hawija, Iraqi officials said.
“We had received confidential information about the prisoners’ whereabouts and that they were at risk,” Kurdish officials said, pointing out there were up to 20 ISIS commanders there.
On the other hand, pro-ISIS activists reported that they were able to kill an American soldier and five Iraqi troops.
Some families of the Kurdish prisoners held by ISIS said: “We have been informed that there had been a raid and our American Brothers have freed around 70 Peshmerga prisoners.”
James Franklin Jeffrey, a former senior American diplomat and an expert in the Middle East issues, told Arabic outlets that the U.S. is using such tactics only for strategic operations in the ISIS-held areas.
In May, the U.S. Special Forces conducted a parachutist operation in neighbouring Syria, during which they were able to kill the senior ISIS official Abu Sayyaf –who was responsible for the group’s oil trade– and captured his wife.
Reporting by: Resho Issa
Source: ARA News