A joint Kurdish-US raid was launched today into Hawijah Iraq to free ISIS prisoners who were feared to be close to execution. Details are sketchy but reports vary on how many prisoners were rescued with numbers ranging from a dozen to 70 with 70 most commonly reported. The raid resulted in the death of about 10-20 ISIS terrorists with five more captured and costing one Delta member killed. About five Kurdish commandos were wounded.
Hawijah is almost 40 miles from Kirkuk. Reports state “dozens” of Delta Force commandos took part along with dozens of elite Kurdish troops. The raid was reportedly conducted by five helicopters most likely MH47 from TF160 because of the units involved and number of personnel involved/rescued.
The raid undoubtedly went after an important time sensitive target but repeated claims that the US does not have “troops on the ground” continue to reinvent English. Claims that the Kurds are the “supported” force or are in the lead also seem inconsistent with the casualty count.
Most importantly the Iraq Ministry of Defense seems to have been left out of the loop in the planning and execution of the raid. This implies a new closeness between Kurdish and US forces which will fuel Iraqi Shia fears of a strengthening and potentially independent Kurdistan with all the future trouble that will bring.