U.S. special operations forces under the Joint Special Operations Command and U.S. Special Operations Command keep close tabs on the military evolution of ISIS and both its combat and terrorism — called “asymmetric” — capabilities, officials told ABC News. A primary reason is in anticipation of possibly fighting them, which a full squadron of special mission unit operators did in the Independence Day raid on an ISIS camp in Raqqah, Syria.
“They’re incredible fighters. ISIS teams in many places use special operations TTPs,” said the second official, who has considerable combat experience, using the military term for “tactics, techniques and procedures.”
In sobering press conference Friday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said ISIS has shown that it is “as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen.”
“They’re beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded,” he said. “This is beyond anything that we’ve seen.”