U.S. Special Operations Forces conducted an unsuccessful mission to rescue two American University of Afghanistan Professors that were kidnapped in Kabul last month, defense officials told Fox News.
The professors were kidnapped on August 7 and just a few days later a mission was conducted in order to rescue the American and Australian professos. Despite killing seven enemy fighters, the professors were nowhere to be found.
A mission to rescue the two professors was put forth but was aborted when the American rescue force could not obtain White House approval for the mission because of concerns over the intelligence that they had about the professors, three defense officials told Fox News. There also was no consensus among different government agencies which prevented the approval from the White House.
The rescue force was heading towards the area that they believed the professors were being held but were forced to turn around and head back to base in Afghanistan.
“They turned back that first night because they didn’t have authority. They could have gone without permission if they thought hostages’ lives were in imminent danger,” an official said. One official added that they were not in immediate danger at the time.
The following day, President Obama gave the go-ahead for the mission. The force made their way back to the area and engaged the enemy fighters but were unsuccessful in finding them.
One official said that the mission happened somewhere in Afghanistan, but was not authorized to give more details. One of the officials said that it was unclear whether the professors were ever in that location or if they were moved just before the second rescue attempt.
The two American University professors were kidnapped on August 7 while driving. The group believed to be responsible for the kidnapping is the Haqqani Network, an Afghan guerilla insurgent group.
According to several officials, U.S. intelligence is “not confident” about the whereabouts of the two professors.