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WASHINGTON, Aug 20 (Reuters) - The U.S. military recently attempted an air and ground rescue operation to free American hostages held by Islamic State militants in Syria, but failed to find them, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.
"This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL," said the statement, using a different name for the militant group. "Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location."
President Barack Obama authorized the mission "earlier this summer," said a statement by Lisa Monaco, Obama's top counterterrorism aide.
The statements come a day after jihadists posted a video showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley, who was kidnapped in Syria in November 2012. The statements did not say which hostages the United States was attempting to rescue. (Reporting by Jason Szep; Editing by Peter Cooney)