Special Operations


Materials arranged chronologically.

Botelho, Greg, and Hakim Almasmari. "Sources: U.S. Pulling Last of Its Special Operations Forces Out of Yemen." CNN, 21 Mar. 2015. []

"The U.S. military is in the process of evacuating about 100 Special Operations forces members from the Al Anad airbase in Yemen due to that country's deteriorating security situation, sources in the region familiar with the situation told CNN. Those being evacuated, which include Navy SEALs and members of the Army's Delta Force, are the last American forces stationed in the Arab nation."

Watson, Ben. "Green Berets Helping with Earthquake Recovery; Pentagon Ferries Hundreds of Rescue Workers to Nepal." Defense One, 27 Apr. 2015. []

A Pentagon spokesman said on 27 April 2015 that "[s]ome of the 26 Green Berets already in Nepal will help build tents for displaced locals in central Kathmandu.... The remaining U.S. special forces will use their medical expertise to help the Nepalese Army treat the wounded....One of those two teams of special forces troops has been specially trained to operate in mountainous conditions, a military official told Defense One. And some of those Green Berets are helping with search efforts along a number of popular trekking routes, including the Everest Base Camp route."

DeYoung, Karen, and Missy Ryan. "Senior ISIS Leader Killed in U.S. Raid in Syria." Washington Post, 16 May 2015. []

According to a White House statement on 16 May 2015, a U.S. Special Operations raid inside Syria on 15 May 2015 killed Abu Sayyaf, "a senior Islamic State leader." Abu Sayyaf's wife, "who was said to be an Islamic State member, was captured during the operation, and a young [Yazidi] woman who appeared to be held as a slave of the couple, was freed." A U.S. Defense official said that the raid :was carried out by a team of the Army's Delta Force troops, who traveled in Black Hawk helicopters and Osprey aircraft.... [A]bout a dozen militants were killed" in a firefight.

Mazzetti, Mark, Nicholas Kulish, Christopher Drew, Serge F. Kovaleski, Sean D. Naylor, and John Ismay. "The Secret History of SEAL Team 6: Quiet Killings and Blurred Lines." New York Times, 6 Jun. 2015. []

"Once a small group reserved for specialized but rare missions, the unit ... has been transformed by more than a decade of combat into a global manhunting machine.... Team 6 has successfully carried out thousands of dangerous raids that military leaders credit with weakening militant networks, but its activities have also spurred recurring concerns about excessive killing and civilian deaths.... Team 6 pursues the highest value targets and takes on hostage rescues in combat zones. It also works more with the C.I.A. and does more clandestine missions outside war zones. Only Team 6 trains to chase after nuclear weapons that fall into the wrong hands."

Drew, Jonathan. "U.S. Marine Corps Renames Its Elite Branch 'Raiders.'" Time, 19 Jun. 2015. []

"The Marines will rename several special operations units as Marine Raiders at a ceremony" on 19 June 2015. "The name will give a unique identity to the Marines' branch of U.S. Special Operations Command.... [T]he formal names of eight units comprising some 2,700 Marines will include 'Marine Raider.'"

Seck, Hope Hodge. "Marine Raiders to Lead Joint Spec Ops Fight against ISIS." Marine Corps Times, 26 Aug. 2015. []

Capt. Barry Morris, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, has said that the Marine Corps' "special operations command will lead the next rotation of operators into Iraq.... Marine Raiders will head the staff element for the next iteration of Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Iraq [CJSOTF].... The unit is set to deploy early next year and will be led by a MARSOC colonel."

Miller, Greg. "U.S. Launches Secret Drone Campaign to Hunt Islamic State Leaders in Syria." Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2015. []

According to U.S. officials, "[t]he CIA and U.S. special operations forces have launched a secret campaign to hunt terrorism suspects in Syria as part of a targeted killing program that is run separately from the broader U.S. military offensive against the Islamic State." The CIA and JSOC "are both flying armed drones over Syria in a collaboration responsible for several recent strikes against senior Islamic State operatives.... The clandestine program represents a significant escalation of the CIA's involvement in the war in Syria."

Dilanian, Ken. "Rare US Success in Syria, Iraq: Finding Senior Militants.'" Associated Press, 28 Sep. 2015. []

According to U.S. officials, a manhunt by the CIA, NSA, and JSOC "has been methodically finding and killing senior militants in Syria and Iraq.... In an effort that ramped up over the last year, intelligence analysts and special operators have harnessed an array of satellites, sensors, drones and other technology to track and kill elusive militants across a vast, rugged area of Syria and Iraq."

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