Pentagon: Raid footage is authentic, was approved by U.S.


The Pentagon on Monday confirmed the authenticity of a video posted over the weekend showing a raid to free hostages about to be executed by the Islamic State.

Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. approved of Peshmerga fighters using helmet cameras during the operation. He said the troops seen in the video are Peshmerga special operators.

Last week's raid in Iraq freed about 70 Iraqi hostages, who had been kept in a prison by the Islamic State and believed they were about to be executed. The U.S. was meant to support the raid with advising and helicopter transport, but U.S. Delta Force operators became more involved in the fight and one, Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler, died of a gunshot wound during the firefight.

"The sacrifice and decisive action of this courageous American in support of his comrades reminds us of the dangers that the coalition forces confront in Iraq, but also of the important assistance they provide local forces as they lead the fight against a barbaric enemy," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Friday.

Davis said Wheeler's death happened early in the fight, before the footage shown in the video.