The Levant News — A U.S.-backed military operation that freed 70 Islamic State hostages in Iraq also produced a big cache of intelligence, and U.S. forces supporting Iraqi troops are likely to undertake more raids in the future, the U.S. defense chief said on Friday.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he decided on the rescue mission after intelligence showed executions were imminent, including evidence that a grave had been dug for the bodies.
“When we find opportunities to do things that will effectively prosecute the campaign, we’re going to do that,” Carter said at a news briefing. “Raids is one of those categories and I suspect that we’ll have further opportunities in the future and we’re going to avail ourselves.”
Carter said the body of Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler, who was killed during the rescue operation, would be returned to the United States on Saturday in a ceremony attended by his family as well as Carter and his wife.