The British SAS have been conducting several operations in the hilly, remote part of northern Iraq. They have been targeting ISIS leadership in an attempt to stop the terrorist group’s resurgence. ISIS has been largely, but not completely eradicated from Iraq.
The U.K. special operators have been working closely with Kurdish resistance fighters who have done the lion’s share of the fighting. The Kurds pushed most of ISIS out of Iraq after its self-styled “caliphate” arose in 2014. At the time, the Iraqi government was weakened by the departure of U.S. and coalition troops; and the Syrian government was in the midst of a bloody civil war. They were thus unable to nip them in the bud. ISIS, it turned out, was far from “the JV Team” that the Obama administration characterized them at the time.
Now, the SAS and Kurdish fighters are conducting what has been characterized as a “secret war” to prevent a an ISIS resurgence as the central Iraqi government is weakened by internal power struggles.
Several different U.K. news sources have quoted an unnamed British military source stating that the SAS has conducted at least 10 operations in northern Iraq and Syria since mid-April and have killed at least 100 ISIS fighters, including many leaders and British citizens who joined ISIS’s ranks. DNA tests conducted on the killed jihadists confirmed their identity.