Dramatic footage released by the Kurdish government today shows Kurdish special forces, with help from US commandos.
More than 70 hostages were rescued in the operation in Hawija in Norther Iraq. Unfortunately one American soldier was wounded and later died from his injuries. Master Sgt Joshua Wheeler, 39, of Roland, Oklahoma is the first American military death in the fight against IS.
The video shows dozens of scared Iraqi and possibly Syrian hostages being ushered out of the building and searched by Kurdish soldiers. An American voice can be heard giving instructions as the rescued men are taken out.
The Pentagon later announced that the plan was to have the Kurdish and Iraqi special forces units flown in by helicopter, with the American Delta Force members hanging back and only intervening if there was heavy fighting or in an emergency. The Delta Force unit was drawn into fighting when the ISIS fighters fought back with heavy weapons and fire.
The Pentagon announced that satellite imagery had shown mass graves were being dug in preparation for the mass execution of the hostages, so the operation was signed off before the terrorists could kill any hostages. The hostages were reportedly a mix if local men who had been accused of spying by ISIS, around 20 captured Iraqi soldiers and a handful of former ISIS members who had tried to escape and leave ISIS. No doubt they will be keeping a close eye on those guys…