A video has been released by the Kurdish military which purports to show the dramatic rescue of 70 Iraqi hostages from an Isis prison compound.
The raid, conducted jointly by US commandos and Kurdish forces, saw Master Sgt Joshua Wheeler killed in the first American casualty during combat operations against Isis.
Body camera footage of the raid shows captives with blood-stained robes being led out of the building in the northern Iraqi town of Hawija.
Gunfire can be heard in the background as the men raise their arms above their heads. According to NBC News, who along with the Washington Post have obtained the footage from Kurdish broadcasters, commands to “keep moving” are issued in Arabic throughout.
The video could not immediately be verified, though ABC News quoted a senior military official as saying it had been authenticated.
Later in the video, soldiers can be seen clearing rooms within the compound and responding to the sounds of gunfire off-camera. At one point, the soldier filming the footage passes through a room with a large Isis flag adorning the wall.
Wheeler’s death during the raid on Thursday night saw him become the first American to die in combat in Iraq since 2011.
The raid, which saw 69 Iraqi hostages saved including at least 20 from the Iraqi security services, was originally not intended to involve US commandos in combat, Defence Secretary Ash Carter said in a news briefing on Friday.
Mr Carter told reporters that Wheeler, 39, rushed in to help Kurdish troops when they were met with gunfire.
“He ran to the sound of the guns and he stood up,” Mr Carter said. “All the indications are it was his actions and that of one of his teammates that protected those that were involved in breaching the compound and made the mission a success.”
Wheeler was awarded the Purple Heart after his death, according to an Army statement.Reuse content