rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Did failed US rescue mission seal Foley's fate?

Did failed US rescue mission seal Foley's fate?

August 21, 2014 12:44 IST

Did failed US rescue mission seal Foley's fate?

     Next

Next

United States Special Operation Forces had launched a secret raid in Syria at the direction of President Barack Obama to rescue journalist James Foley and other Americans held hostage by Islamic State militants, but the "complicated" mission failed and the rescue team evacuated. 

Both the White House and the Pentagon on Wednesday acknowledged such a secret operation in Syria to rescue American citizens taken hostage by the Islamic State, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS or ISIL.

The disclosure came a day after the ISIS released a disturbing video showing one of its members beheading Foley, who was abducted in Syria in November 2012.

The Obama administration did not confirm whether Foley was one among hostages, but multiple media reports said that he was one among them.

According to senior Obama administration officials, Special Forces were dropped in a remote area of Syria where intelligence officials suspected hostages were being held.

"The attempt, involving several dozen US commandos, one of whom was injured in a fierce firefight with the militants, was the first known US ground operation in Syria since the country’s descent into civil war," The Washington Post said.

Please click NEXT to read further...


Photographs: US Army Photo

     Next

Did failed US rescue mission seal Foley's fate?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The assault came after at least six European hostages freed by the militants last spring had been debriefed by US intelligence, the daily said.

"This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL. Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said.

According to a defence official, the operation occurred in early July. 

The same official added that the operation was based mostly on human intelligence -- as opposed to satellite photographs and intercepted communications -- and the military now believes the hostages had been moved from the location just days before the raid took place.

The helicopters used in the raid were flown by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, an elite group known as the "Night Stalkers" and which typically ferries commandos affiliated with the US Army's Delta Force and the Navy SEALs.

The operation included both fixed and rotary wing aircraft, surveillance aircraft, and involved virtually every branch of the military, according to the administration official.

Please click NEXT to read further...


Photographs: US Army Photo

Prev     Next

Did failed US rescue mission seal Foley's fate?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The White House and the Pentagon decided to go public with the information as it came to know that many of the media outlets had come to know about this secretive operation.

"We never intended to disclose this operation. An overriding concern for the safety of the hostages and for operational security made it imperative that we preserve as much secrecy as possible," said Caitlin Hayden, Spokesperson of the National Security Council, White House.

"We only went public today when it was clear a number of media outlets were preparing to report on the operation and that we would have no choice but to acknowledge it," Hayden said. 

According to unnamed official who spoke to a select group of reporters on condition of anonymity there were a "good number" of militant casualties at the site, but that one US service member received a "minor injury when one aircraft did take some fire."


Photographs: US Army Photo

Prev     Next

Did failed US rescue mission seal Foley's fate?

Prev     More
Prev

More

Foley's beheading marks the first time the Islamic State has killed a US citizen since the Syrian conflict broke out in March 2011.

Opposition activists say the war has killed more than 170,000 people.

The militant group has threatened to kill another reporter unless the US halts its air strikes in Iraq.

President Obama authorised "targeted air strikes" against Islamic State militants early this month to protect American military personnel and prevent potential "genocide" of thousands of displaced religious minorities trapped on a mountaintop in northwest Iraq. 


Photographs: US Army Photo

Prev     More
© Copyright 2014 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.