A U.S. special forces commando has become the first American causality in the fight against ISIS, succumbing to his wounds after being injured in a raid that freed 70 hostages held by the Islamic State.
The Pentagon has yet to release the name of the soldier, waiting to notify his family first. The raid took place in northern Iraq, and also marks the first U.S. casualty in the nation since 2011.
According to officials, U.S. special forces under the command of JSOC were acting in support of Kurdish troops, who led the mission.
The raid was ordered upon learning that ISIS planned to execute the hostages on Thursday morning. Expecting to encounter 20 hostages, the joint forces found and freed over 70. From The New York Times:
The raid, near the town of Hawija, freed 70 prisoners, including more than 20 from the Iraqi security forces, the Pentagon said in a statement. Five Islamic State fighters were detained and several killed, and American officials said important intelligence about the terrorist group was recovered.
The prisoners who were freed said they had been told by the militants that they were to be executed at dawn Thursday after the morning prayer; a trench to bury them had already been dug, the official said.
Officials declined to comment as to whether U.S. forces have been engaged in similar raids in the country recently.