A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq has identified the commando killed in a raid against the Islamic State group in northern Iraq as Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler. (US Army via AP)
A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq identified the commando killed in a raid against the Islamic State group in northern Iraq as Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler. U.S. Special forces reportedly conducted the raid to rescue Kurdish hostages held by the Islamic State. 70 ISIS hostages were freed. The operation took place Wednesday night on a militant-run prison near the northern ISIS stronghold of Hawija.
Press Secretary Peter Cook says that the operation was planned and launched after receiving information that the hostages faced imminent mass execution.
The U.S. provided helicopter lift and accompanied Iraqi Peshmerga forces to the compound. More than 20 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were among the rescued.
Five ISIS members were detained by the Iraqis and a number of others were killed in the operation, according to the Pentagon.
Four Peshmerga soldiers were wounded.
This comes as a a spokesman for U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq and Syria say they carried out a large-scale attack on Syria's Omar oil field as part of its mission to target the Islamic State group's ability to generate money.
Operations officer Maj. Michael Filanowski told journalists in Baghdad on Thursday that the strikes late Wednesday struck IS-controlled oil refineries, command and control centers and transportation nodes in the Omar oil field area. U.S. officials say it was one of the largest set of strikes since launching the air campaign last year.
Filanowski says the refinery generates between $1.7 and $5.1 million per month for the Islamic State group. He says the strikes did not target Omar's entire infrastructure, focusing instead on specific targets that would stunt their ability to sell oil.
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