US tried, and failed, to rescue Foley held by ISIS

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 21, 2014 09:14 IST

This photo is a frame from the video released by ISIS militants that shows the purported beheading of US journalist James Foley who has been missing since 2012. (AP Photo)


A US special operations team tried to rescue James Foley and other Americans held by the ISIS in July but the operation failed because the hostages had been removed to another location.

The raid took place on a location in Syria where, US intelligence believed on the basis of information provided by previously released hostages, Foley and others were being held.

But the commandoes found only ISIS fighters there at the targeted location, and killed an unspecified number in a firefight before leaving, according to US officials.

Read: Obama calls ISIS ‘cancer’ as another US journo’s life at risk

“The United States attempted a rescue operation recently to free a number of American hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” said Pentagon spokesman. “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.”

In briefings to select US media outlets, officials revealed a few more details of an operation that remains largely a secret and , by design as they don’t want to give away their capabilities.

Foley, a freelance American journalist, would be killed months later in an execution filmed and posted online by the outfit with a message for the US and President Barrack Obama.

The executioner, a fighter clad in all black with face covered, said that the outfit will kill another American captive, also a journalist, if US didn’t end military strikes in Iraq.

The video was titled, “A message to America”.

“The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people,” said Obama. “When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”

US military launched 14 air strikes on ISIS position around Mosul Dam of Iraq on Wednesday — 51 so far in support of Iraqi forces in that are, according to US central command.

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