According to unconfirmed reports, the U.S. launched a special operations mission to recover the Jordanian Air Force pilot captured by IS militants after he was forced to abandon his F-16 over Iraq on Dec. 24, 2014.
However, the mission had to be aborted after the commando, heading towards a private house in Al-Raqqa, in the northern part of central Syria, where the Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot was hidden, lost the element of surprise and the helicopters came under heavy fire.
The news was reported by Israel News media outlet, but the source are rebels in Syria according to Turkish news report in El Andalul. So, once again, it’s difficult to determine what’s true and what’s just propaganda. According to the rebels, two U.S. helicopters were involved in the rescue operation, supported by several combat planes.
Although it is impossible to verify such reports, we can’t rule out the possibility the U.S. launched a rescue mission in the aftermath of the capture of pilot Muaz Yossef El Kasasba to free the first coalition pilot in captivity. Indeed, the presence of (Air Force Special Operations Command) Osprey tiltrotor aircraft based in Kuwait exposed by Google Maps imagery, seems to suggest the U.S. are prepared to conduct CSAR (Combat Search And Rescue) missions in Syria and Iraq, should the need to recover a pilot arise.
If confirmed this would be the second failed raid in about six month, the first on Jul. 3, 2014, when some V-22 aircraft were used to carry Delta Force commandos to a campsite in eastern Syria where ISIS militants were believed to hold American and other hostages (that had been moved by the time the commandos attacked the site): a sign that special operations are extremely difficult and dangerous in that region.
Anyway, as a consequence of the capture of one of their pilots Jordan has suspended the Royal Jordanian Air Force operations against ISIS, Jordan newspaper “Arab al-Yaum” wrote.
H/T to @Tom_Antonov for the heads-up
Image credit: U.S. Air Force