US tried and failed to save Foley, other IS hostages in Syria

AFP Photo/Welayat Salahuddin

AFP Photo/Welayat Salahuddin

Earlier this summer, American Special Forces attempted to rescue photojournalist James Foley and other hostages held by Islamic State militants in Syria, but the mission failed because the prisoners were not at the suspected location.

According to the Washington Post, the United States acted after six other Western hostages were previously let go by the extremist group and had been debriefed by intelligence officers. White House officials said the operation involved several dozen US commandos engaging militants in battle – one American was wounded – but that Foley and the others could not be saved.

“It was not ultimately successful because the hostages were not present at the location of the operation,” a senior administration official said, speaking anonymously to the Post. “We obviously wish this had been successful.”

Officials did not reveal where the operation took place, nor did they offer a more precise timeframe outside of “earlier this summer.”

The news follows the revelation that Islamic State militants sent an email to threatening to kill Foley to his former employer, the Boston news outlet Global Post, just one week ago.

The White House was reportedly aware of the threat, but no negotiations were …read more