U.S. Made Rescue Attempt of ISIS Prisoners in Syria

The Defense Department today announced it made a rescue attempt of Americans held by Syria. It was unsuccessful because there were no hostages at the location. Ground "components" were used. Apparently the attempt was made earlier this summer, not today, and commando forces were used. From the press release:

Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary RADM John Kirby on Attempted Rescue Operation

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). 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.


As we have said repeatedly, the United States government is committed to the safety and well-being of its citizens, particularly those suffering in captivity. In this case, we put the best of the United States military in harms' way to try and bring our citizens home.

The United States government uses the full breadth of our military, intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring people home whenever we can. The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will work tirelessly to secure the safety of our citizens and to hold their captors accountable.

From the Washington Post:
The attempt, involving several dozen U.S. commandos, one of whom was injured in a fierce firefight with the militants, was the first known U.S. ground operation in Syria since the country’s descent into civil war. It came after at least six European hostages freed by the militants last spring had been debriefed by U.S. intelligence.

...The failed operation “was conducted by a joint force with virtually every service represented,” one of the senior officials said, including “special operators and aircraft both rotary and fixed wing,” with surveillance aircraft overhead.

It is believed that at least 4 journalists are being held by ISIS>
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  • Display: Sort:
    Need a consistent policy (none / 0) (#1)
    by Politalkix on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:17:00 PM EST

    "Kidnapping Europeans has become the main source of revenue for Qaeda and its immediate affiliates, which have earned at least $125 million in ransom payments in the last five years alone, according to an investigation by the New York Times. Islamic extremists with ties to Qaeda -- including the Taliban in Afghanistan and Boko Haram in Nigeria -- have also recently begun copying Qaeda's kidnapping business plan, grabbing dozens of foreigners -- and again zeroing in on Europeans as the most lucrative commodity.

    ISIS was recently expelled from Qaeda and abides by different rules. But recently freed hostages said that their English and French captors were well aware of what ransoms had been paid on behalf of European nationals held by Qaeda affiliates in the past.

    While government and counterterrorism officials insist that paying ransoms only perpetuates the problem, the policy has meant that captured
    Americans have little chance of being released.

    The payment of ransoms and abduction of foreigners must emerge from the shadows. It must be publicly debated. American and European policy makers should be forced to answer for their actions," he wrote. "A consistent response to kidnapping by the U.S. and Europe is desperately needed. The current haphazard approach is failing."

    Paying Ransoms (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by christinep on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 05:23:30 PM EST
    Paying ransoms for any form of kidnapping never works in the long run ... and, the long run in terms of the kidnapping/capturing practice is precisely what this concerns.  Blackmail ... or paying "insurance" to organized local or international thugs can only increase the value of the practice ... typically, threatening physical extortion for $$$$$ doesn't disappear after the first payment. Shake-downs--at all their disgusting levels--are as old as the hills.

    I agree that discussion about the subject can be important.


    4 more hostages seized (none / 0) (#2)
    by Politalkix on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 06:43:56 AM EST

    2 Italians, 1 Dane and a Japanese.

    Lots of sympathy (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 07:07:07 AM EST
    But ransoms must not be paid.

    All it does is insure more kidnappings.