According to multiple reports from different media outlets, US ground troops failed in at least one and by some accounts two attempted rescues of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh, who last week was shot down over Syria and captured by ISIS.
US Special Forces were said to have been sent on two bids to rescue Kasaesbeh, who was believed to be held on the outskirts of Raqqa, the de facto ISIS capital.
This would explain reports that emerged yesterday of escalating US airstrikes in and around Raqqa, as they apparently tried to provide air cover for the helicopter gunships sent on the rescue missions.
At any rate, the troops had to abandon the mission when the helicopters came under heavy fire. Several buildings were destroyed, but while there were mentions of likely casualties, no figures have come out so far. The Pentagon has neither confirmed nor denied the operation.
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