A US special operator who was killed in Syria recently was a member of the Army’s elite Delta Force and on a mission to kill or capture a member of the Islamic State terrorist group, CNN first reported on Monday.
An Army helicopter pilot kept flying for five hours in support of a Delta Force ground raid into Syria in 2014, even after he was wounded by gunfire during the initial assault, according to new documents released by the Department of Deafense.
The first American to die while fighting ISIS "fearlessly exposed himself" to heavy small arms fire during a raid on a militant prison complex in October 2015, according to the citation for his Silver Star award.
In late 2015, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that a so-called Expeditionary Targeting Force comprised of elite U.S. special operations units would begin deploying to Iraq and Syria to assist in the war against ISIS. So far, that task force appears to have been instrumental in reversing the tide of the war, most notably in Ramadi, where in December U.S.-backed Iraqi forces managed to retake the city from ISIS after a five-month slog.
Newly released helmet-cam footage shows a raid executed Oct. 22 by American special operators and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq on an Islamic State facility. The forces successfully rescued roughly 70 Iraqi men, but the mission resulted in the death of Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler, the first American killed in action in Iraq under President Barack Obama’s new plan to train forces to defeat the Islamic State, according to the Washington Post.