The Islamic State (IS) has retaliated to the US special ops raid that freed 70 prisoners last week in Iraq by releasing a propaganda video that purportedly shows the beheading of four Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.
The video — titled "The Reality of the American Raid" — begins with a montage that features footage of US Defense Secretary Ash Carter delivering a speech at the Pentagon, along with clips of airstrikes and scenes from the ongoing conflict in Iraq and Syria. IS sympathizers then tell their version of what happened during the joint raid on October 22 by US and Kurdish forces on a compound near the city of Hawija in northern Iraq.
According to Pieter Nanninga, an expert on jihadism at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, IS claims the men shown being decapitated were four Peshmerga fighters who the US unsuccessfully tried to rescue last week. Nanninga said on Twitter that IS claims that no Peshmerga fighters were freed during the raid, that many prisoners were killed, and that the mission was a failure.
The video concludes with the gruesome executions of the four prisoners, who are believed to be Iraqis. An IS militant draws his knife as a prisoner dressed in an orange jumpsuit kneels in front of him.
"Obama, you have learned a new lesson," the militant says in English, facing the camera. "Six-hundred soldiers of the Caliphate faced 400 of your children. They killed and injured them. By Allah's grace, you are probably surprised by this. Oh crusaders, it is the support of Allah. You did not gain anything. You returned to your bases with losses and humiliation. Obama, you wage war against Allah; He supports us against you. There is the promise of Allah; Allah will never fail in His promise."
Kurdish counter-terrorism forces planned and led the early morning raid last week with support from US forces. Four Kurds were wounded and a US commando was killed during the operation. The US soldier, identified by the Pentagon as Master Sergeant Joshua L. Wheeler, was the first American serviceman to die on the ground in the fight against IS militants in Iraq and Syria.
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