U.S. Special Operations forces capture first suspected ISIS operative in Iraq
U.S. Special Operations forces have captured their first suspected ISIS operative in Northern Iraq as part of a highly secretive targeting team led by the Army’s elite Delta Force, CNN has learned.
The detainee is being interrogated by the U.S. and is expected to be turned over to Iraqi officials in the coming days, two U.S. officials confirmed. They provided details to CNN but asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter, and they did not identify the location of the interrogation.
The mission was carried out by the Pentagon’s expeditionary targeting force. Defense Secretary Ash Carter acknowledged the expeditionary targeting force has been sent to Iraq to conduct raids against ISIS and to capture or kill suspects.
The force captured the person in its first group of missions after spending several weeks on the ground developing intelligence.
The plan now is to use the new intelligence gleaned from raids and interrogations to develop further targeting for follow-up missions.
Special Operations forces captured the wife of key ISIS figure Abu Sayyaf during a raid in Syria last year and subsequently turned her over to Iraqi authorities. U.S. officials have long said the information gleaned from her helped them decide to form a special targeting force.