Kirkuk
Kurdish peshmerga forces inspect a destroyed building belonging to the Islamic State militants on the outskirts of Tel Ward, west of the city of Kirkuk, March 9, 2015.Reuters File

An American soldier, member of the US Special Forces, reportedly was killed while saving 70 Kurdish hostages being held in captivity by the Islamic State (Isis) terrorists in Iraq, reports said.

The New York Times on Thursday reported that the US Special Forces carried out a risky operation to free hostages and capture Isis operatives from the Iraqi town of Hawija in Kirkuk province.

It was reportedly a joint operation in which both Kurdish and American forces backed by US-attack helicopters raided an Isis prison in Kirkuk to free the Kurdish hostages.

"They cut off roads and raided the place successfully," Najmaldin Karim, governor of Kirkuk Province, told The New York Times. "They were able to take people with them."

A White House official hailed the successful mission as an example of how closely US-led coalition and the Kurdish Peshmerga are working together against the Sunni terror group, NBC reported.

Isis in February had paraded at least 21 Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers in a propaganda video from Kirkuk and had threatened to behead them.

The last American soldier was killed in Iraq in 2011, during the last months of the war in the country. Since then this is the first American combat fatality on the ground in the fight against Isis in Syria or Iraq.

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