Two Americans, including a Navy SEAL and an 8-year-old girl were left dead. Three other SEALs were left seriously injured. At least thirty Yemenis were killed, and much of a village left destroyed.
Source: NBC News
In what an official said was the first military raid carried out under President Donald Trump, two Americans were killed in Yemen on Sunday — one a member of SEAL Team 6 and the other the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, the New Mexico-born al Qaeda leader who himself was killed in a U.S. strike five years ago.
The raid in southern Yemen, conducted by the supersecret Joint Special Operations Command, was intended to capture valuable intelligence, specifically computer equipment, according to a senior U.S. military official. Three al Qaeda leaders were killed, according to U.S. officials.
Contrary to earlier reporting, the senior military official said, the raid was Trump's first clandestine strike — not a holdover mission approved by President Barack Obama. The mission involved "boots on the ground" at an al Qaeda camp near al Bayda in south central Yemen, the official said.
"Almost everything went wrong," the official said.
An MV-22 Osprey experienced a hard landing near the site, injuring several SEALs, one severely. The tilt-rotor aircraft had to be destroyed. A SEAL was killed during the firefight on the ground, as were some noncombatants, including females.
Further details have emerged of just how bad this was mishandled, raising questions whether it should have ever been initiated, or called off when the Americans lost the element of surprise.
(Reuters) U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.
As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists.
The military officials who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said "a brutal firefight" killed Owens and at least 15 Yemeni women and children. One of the dead was the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, a militant killed by a 2011 U.S. drone strike.
And of course declared a resounding success by this misAdministration.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Wednesday the raid yielded benefits.
"Knowing that we killed an estimated 14 AQAP members and that we gathered an unbelievable amount of intelligence that will prevent the potential deaths or attacks on American soil – is something that I think most service members understand, that that’s why they joined the service,” Spicer said.
In an interview with The Guardian, the girl's grandfather said he didn't think her death was intentional.
In an interview with the Guardian, the girl’s grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki, said he did not believe the Americans meant to kill his granddaughter. Nawar, who was staying at the house with her mother, was shot in the neck and died two hours later.
“I don’t think this incident was intentional,” Nasser al-Awlaki said in a phone interview from Yemen.
The elder Awlaki, a former government minister, said the village in which his granddaughter was staying was not an AQAP hotbed, but rather home to her uncles, tribal sheikhs who were actually fighting with the legal government of Yemen, which the ruling Iran-backed Houthi movement ousted in a coup.
Awlaki said the exiled former government was sending arms to his relatives from its southern stronghold in Aden, to combat the Houthis.
“If the Americans assumed that those arms were going to the hands of al-Qaida or something, I don’t know,” Nasser al-Awlaki said. “I cannot understand why the Americans use this big commando strike, which is similar to what happened to Osama bin Laden, in a small village in Yemen.”
Nawar Anwar al-Awlaki, 8, was killed in an airstrike in Yemen ordered by President Donald Trump. Yemeni media / via Twitter