The Pentagon had officially released the details of a hostage recovery mission in Syria against a captor faction of the Islamic State (IS), known in the Syrian Civil War in 2012 as ISIS. Several dozens of American special forces had combatted ISIS captors, but failed in the mission as the hostages were not in the target area. Most of the US hostages were freelance journalists such as the beheaded James Foley.
Meanwhile, US intelligence have verified the video of the supposed beheading of freelance journalist James Foley by an IS fighter with a British accent. The National Security Council Spokesperson Marie Harf said that the US Intelligence Community has analysed the recently released video as authentic. It showed Foley and another journalist targeted by the IS, Steven Sotloff.
James Foley has been covering news in the Middle East for more than five years. He went missing in 2012 and his official whereabouts were unknown until the video appeared in the Internet. If the video is verified, he was killed at 40 years old.
The UK believes that the IS fighter holding James Foley was a British national. UK police are still trying to find out the man’s identity. The UK Prime Minister David Cameron cut his vacation short to redouble the efforts of the Home Office to stop British nationals with sectarian ties to travel to Iraq and Syria.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) now known only as the Islamic State, had invaded a district near the semi-autonomous Kurdistan. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, who had advanced against the Islamic State-invaded northern cities, received no opposition from the US-trained Iraq army as they proceeded to the fight.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had the Iraqi Air Forces assist the Kurdish forces in one of their skirmishes.
Kurdistan’s Peshmerga fighters are experienced, veteran fighters regarded as the only ones who could level with the Islamic State fighters, who had fighting experience in Syria. The Peshmerga fighters had also taken over three towns, reaching the Mosul Dam instantly. They had also confirmed retrieving the dam, although sources could not confirm it.
However, the Peshmerga’s capabilities are from experience, and Kurdish commanders are still asking the United States to step in and provide weapons for the sake of “combatting terrorism”. They elaborated that they faced heavy firepower and advanced weapons, which some analysts regard as coming from the Syrian rebel funding Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Islamic State fighters were also part of the Syrian rebel groups who had fought against the government.
However, despite the hostility between Iraqi and Kurdish forces, they have set it aside to ensure the stoppage of the Islamic State’s advance.