Date
14 December 2017
US military will continue to launch special operations to free Americans held by militants, despite the failure of some recent missions, a top official said. Photo: Reuters
US military will continue to launch special operations to free Americans held by militants, despite the failure of some recent missions, a top official said. Photo: Reuters

US seen continuing raids to rescue hostages

The United States will not halt operations to free Americans held captive by militants despite the recent failures of some missions, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of going back and having a review of our process. Our process is about as thorough as there can be. Is it imperfect? Yes. Is there risk? Yes,” Hagel said during a visit to a military base in eastern Afghanistan Sunday, according to Reuters.

“But we start with the fact that we have an American that’s being held hostage and that American’s life is in danger and that’s where we start. And then we proceed from there,” he said.

The remarks came after a failed hostage rescue attempt in a remote area of Yemen early on Saturday, when al Qaeda militants killed American photo journalist Luke Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie. 

Somers and Korkie were shot by their captors when they detected the presence of the approaching Special Forces rescue team.

Despite the failure, such rescue attempts seem unlikely to stop, given the US government’s policy of not paying ransom for captives.

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RA/RC

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