Sunday, April 5, 2020

Trump pays respects to U.S. SEAL who died when Yemen raid went wrong

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Wednesday paid his respects to a U.S. Navy SEAL who died in a raid on al Qaeda in Yemen that went wrong, the first military operation authorized by Trump as commander in chief.

Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in an unexpected visit to meet with the family of William “Ryan” Owens, a chief special warfare operator who died in Sunday’s dawn raid.

The remains of the serviceman were sent to Dover, home to the largest U.S. military mortuary. Most of the visit was closed to the media.

The U.S. military said 14 militants were killed in the raid in al Bayda province on a branch of al Qaeda known as AQAP. Medics at the scene, however, said around 30 people, including 10 women and children, were killed.

U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counter-terrorism 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.

White House officials were not immediately available to comment about the officials’ characterization of the raid.

All three officials said “a brutal firefight” took the lives of Owens and at least 15 Yemeni women and children. One of the dead was the eight-year-old daughter of the late militant Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a 2011 U.S. drone strike.

Some of the women were firing at the U.S. force, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters.

INTELLIGENCE GATHERED

The American elite forces did not seize any militants or take any prisoners offsite but 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.

A senior leader in Yemen’s al Qaeda branch, Abdulraoof al-Dhahab, along with other militants, were killed in the gun battle, al Qaeda said.

The U.S. officials said the extremists’ base had been identified as a target before the Obama administration left office on Jan. 20, but then-President Barack Obama held off approving a raid, in part because officials said they were not certain the available intelligence was sufficiently reliable. Also, on-the-ground surveillance of the compound was “minimal, at best,” one of the officials said.

“The decision was made not to make a go decision, but to leave it to the incoming administration, partly in the hope that more and better intelligence could be collected,” that official said.

As Sunday’s firefight intensified, the raiders called in Marine helicopter gunships and Harrier jump jets, and then two MV-22 Osprey vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to extract the SEALs. One of the two suffered engine failure, two of the officials said, and hit the ground so hard that two crew members were injured, and one of the Marine jets had to launch a precision-guided bomb to destroy it.

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Chris Reese and Alistair Bell)

Pete Kourkoulis » for Your Content
Pete Kourkoulis » for Your Content
» Pete is a former Your Content intern from Georgetown University. He served as a Capital Hill Correspondent.

Florida Gov. DeSantis ‘should be arrested’ after putting 21 million residents at risk

Florida is set to see an all-time high of coronavirus cases as their reckless governor granted major cruise-liners permission to dock.

Global number of coronavirus cases surpass 1,000,000

The global number of confirmed deaths from...

Delco scores an A- on social distancing request, cell phone data reveals

Residents in Delaware County received an A- rating in a recent report that revealed which Americans are staying home and which aren’t.

6-week-old baby in Connecticut becomes YOUNGEST coronavirus-related fatality

Gov. Ned Lamont said a six-week-old baby in Connecticut has died from coronavirus and is believed to be the youngest fatality from the illness in the world.

California schools to remain closed remainder of school year over coronavirus pandemic

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said schools throughout the state will remained closed for the remainder of the school year over coronavirus.

Russian Military Cargo Plane Seen Over NY, Carrying Coronavirus Medical Supplies to JFK

A Russian military aircraft has entered the United States, heading to JFK International Airport in New York to deliver critical coronavirus supplies.

Even with social distancing, 240K Americans could die from COVID in ten days

The White House projects 100K to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus pandemic even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.

WHITE HOUSE EXPECTS 100,000 – 200,000 COVID-19 DEATHS

The White House Coronavirus Task Force said they're expecting up to 200,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. within the next few weeks.
- Advertisement -

THE RUNDOWN

Florida Gov. DeSantis ‘should be arrested’ after putting 21 million residents at risk

Florida is set to see an all-time high of coronavirus cases as their reckless governor granted major cruise-liners permission to dock.

Global number of coronavirus cases surpass 1,000,000

The global number of confirmed deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 50,000 and cases edged toward 1 million,...

Delco scores an A- on social distancing request, cell phone data reveals

Residents in Delaware County received an A- rating in a recent report that revealed which Americans are staying home and which aren’t.
- Advertisement -

Florida Gov. DeSantis ‘should be arrested’ after putting 21 million residents at risk

Florida is set to see an all-time high of coronavirus cases as their reckless governor granted major cruise-liners permission to dock.

‘Stacy’s Mom’ Singer Adam Schlesinger Dead at 52 From Coronavirus

Adam Schlesinger, singer of "Stacy's Mom" has died from coronavirus. He was 52.

6-week-old baby in Connecticut becomes YOUNGEST coronavirus-related fatality

Gov. Ned Lamont said a six-week-old baby in Connecticut has died from coronavirus and is believed to be the youngest fatality from the illness in the world.

California schools to remain closed remainder of school year over coronavirus pandemic

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said schools throughout the state will remained closed for the remainder of the school year over coronavirus.

Russian Military Cargo Plane Seen Over NY, Carrying Coronavirus Medical Supplies to JFK

A Russian military aircraft has entered the United States, heading to JFK International Airport in New York to deliver critical coronavirus supplies.
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you