- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

U.S. Special Operations forces captured their first suspected Islamic State operative in Northern Iraq in a secret mission led by the Army’s elite Delta Force.

The detainee is being interrogated by U.S. military personnel and is expected to be turned over to Iraqi officials in the coming days, two U.S. officials told CNN.

A report by The New York Times described the captured operative as a “significant” member of the terrorist group.

The location of the interrogation was not specified.

The Pentagon’s expeditionary targeting force carried out the mission after spending several weeks on the ground in Iraq gathering intelligence.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter acknowledged the expeditionary targeting force has been sent to Iraq to conduct raids against the Islamic State and to capture or kill suspects, CNN reported.

Mr. Carter in December announced the formation of the special operations task force headed to Iraq. The 200-man unit — which included an assault force, intelligence cell and aviation element — was reportedly based in Irbil in norther Iraq.

Troops now plan to use the new intelligence from the raids to develop further targeting for follow-up missions.

Last year, U.S. Special Operations forces captured the wife of a top Islamic State member, Abu Sayyaf, during a raid in Syria. U.S. officials have since said the information they were able to extract from her helped them decide to form a special targeting force.

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