ISIS was about to slaughter seventy people when American Delta Forces, accompanied by Kurdish fighters, intercepted and neutralized the killing operation. The rescue team shot and killed ten ISIS fighters. Although, lamentably, ISIS murdered one American commando. According to one report:
The Special Operations forces and Kurdish peshmerga troops launched the operation early on Thursday to rescue hostages who “faced imminent mass execution,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said.
In a statement, Cook said that U.S. helicopters flew the Kurdish forces to the town of Hawija, well south of Iraq’s largely autonomous Kurdish region. The hostages freed included more than 20 members of Iraqi security forces, Cook said. Five Islamic State militants were captured and at least 10 were killed.
The Kurdish Regional Government said that none of the 69 freed captives were Kurdish, contradicting earlier claims by other Kurdish officials. The Pentagon placed the number of freed prisoners at 70.
One U.S. service member died from wounds suffered when Islamic State forces opened fire on the Kurdish and American forces, Cook said. Four peshmerga were wounded.