Jan 3, 2015

Pentagon denies attempted Special Operations raid in Syria to Rescue Jordanian F-16 Pilot

U.S. military officials on Friday denied reports that the U.S.-led military coalition overseeing operations in Iraq and Syria launched a Special Operations raid in the Islamic State’s stronghold, following a burst of claims from activists in the region.
Media reports raising the possibility of an attempted raid in Raqqa surfaced after a group known as “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” detailed what it described as two failed approaches by coalition aircraft. The organization said in an English-language report that the city “witnessed an unusually intense aerial campaign” by coalition fighter jets on Thursday, and that helicopters “attempted to make an airborne-landing operation to free and rescue western hostages captured by ISIS in the eastern Raqqa countryside,” using one of the acronyms for the Islamic State militant group.
“The mission failed when the helicopters were met by ISIS fighters who directly opened fire at them forcing them to take off,” the activist group said.
One of the activists, said in an interview from Turkey that eyewitnesses about 15 miles east of Raqqa heard intense aerial drone activity Thursday night. The sky was lit up brightly with gunfire and illuminated with flares, and two helicopters attempted to land around 11:30 p.m., the activist said.

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