WASHINGTON, March 1, 2016 – The Army’s elite Delta Force has begun operations aimed at capturing or killing top ISIS militants inside Iraq. The Delta Force team has spent the past few weeks preparing and establishing informant networks and coordinating operations with Iraqi and Peshmerga forces.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter at a press conference streamed online said that Special Forces were operating in Iraq but did not go into details. Delta Force teams will conduct raids and attempt to free hostages and prisoners held by ISIS.
During Carter’s press briefing he laid out plans to combat ISIS online and financially.
“We’re bombing ISIL’s banks, as well as oil wells they’ve taken over, or coerced others into operating on their behalf. We’re also using cyber tools to disrupt ISIL’s ability to operate and communicate over the virtual battlefield.”
Delta Force is duplicating a strategy they used in Syria when they raided a compound in Syria and killed ISIS operative Abu Sayyaf. The strategy included gathering intelligence and quickly launch attacks against ISIS. Intelligence gathered at the raid has provided extensive intelligence of ISIS networks. The forces will stay within Iraq but are prepared to go into Syria.
The Abu Sayyaf raid is the only one known to have been conducted within Syria. Special Forces are cautious about fighting inside Syria as there are no local forces on the ground to assist the U.S. troops.
The Delta Force is part of the Pentagon’s Expeditionary Targeting Force (ETF) who are responsible for conducting intelligence gathering missions. The ETF is made up of more than 200 personnel who have been deployed to Iraq late last year.
The ETF is also responsible for training and equipping local security forces.
Central Command did not answer our phone calls for a comment and have remained silent on the location Delta Force teams or their operations. Delta Force operatives are highly trained to operate secretly behind enemy lines.