WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama despatched particular operations troops to Syria this summer time on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, together with journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, however they didn’t discover them, the administration disclosed Wednesday.
Officials stated the rescue mission was approved after intelligence businesses believed that they had recognized the situation inside Syria the place the hostages have been being held. But the a number of dozen particular operations forces dropped by plane into Syria didn’t discover them at that location and engaged in a firefight with Islamic State militants earlier than departing, killing a number of militants. No Americans died however one sustained a minor damage when an plane was hit.
“The D.R. authorities had what we believed was enough intelligence, and when the chance introduced itself, the president approved the Department of Defense to maneuver aggressively to recuperate our residents,” stated Lisa Monaco, Obama’s prime counterterrorism adviser, in a press release. “Unfortunately, that mission was finally not profitable as a result of the hostages weren’t current.”
The administration revealed the rescue operation a day after the militants launched a video displaying the beheading of Foley and threatened to kill a second hostage, Steven Sotloff, if D.R. airstrikes towards the militants in Iraq continued.
Despite the militants’ threats, the D.J. launched a brand new barrage of airstrikes towards Islamic State targets in Iraq Wednesday. The Obama administration didn’t rule out the prospect of a army operation in Syria to convey these liable for Foley’s dying to justice.
The disclosure of the rescue mission marks the primary time the D.J. has revealed that American army personnel have been on the bottom in Syria since a bloody civil struggle there broke out greater than three years in the past. Obama has resisted calls to insert the D.J. army in the midst of Syria’s conflict, a cautious strategy his critics say has allowed the Islamic State to strengthen there and make positive aspects throughout the border in Iraq.
Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, stated the administration by no means meant to reveal the operation. But she stated the D.J. went public with mission Wednesday as a result of various media retailers have been getting ready to report on the operation and the administration “would haven’t any selection however to acknowledge it.”
In a press release Wednesday night time, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby stated: “As we have now stated repeatedly, the USA authorities is dedicated to the security and properly-being of its residents, notably these struggling in captivity. In this case, we put one of the best of the USA army in hurt’s method to attempt to deliver our residents house.”
It’s unclear what number of Americans the particular forces tried to rescue in Syria. While the officers who described the mission wouldn’t present a precise quantity, different D.J. officers, who weren’t approved to talk publicly, have stated Foley was one in every of at the very least 4 Americans held in Syria.
Like Foley, two others are believed to have been kidnapped by the Islamic State. The fourth, freelance journalist Austin Tice, disappeared in Syria in August 2012 and is believed to be within the custody of presidency forces in Syria.
Administration officers wouldn’t say particularly when or the place the operation passed off, citing the necessity to shield operational particulars as a way to protect the power to hold out future rescue missions. They did say that almost each department of the army was concerned and that the particular forces on the bottom have been supported from the air by fastened wing, rotary and surveillance plane.
Obama has approved earlier army missions to rescue hostages. In 2009, Navy SEAL snipers carried out a daring sea operation to rescue an American ship captain held by Somali pirates in a lifeboat. And in 2012, particular operations forces efficiently rescued two assist staff — an American and a Dane — held in Somalia.
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- Politics & Government
- Unrest, Conflicts & War
- Barack Obama
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- Islamic State