The first counterterrorism operation under the Trump Administration did not go as planned and brought about the death of one American sailor, along with an estimated 15 Yemeni women and at least one child Saturday.
The Navy SEALs were to go in and detain Yemeni tribe leaders who were thought to be in collaboration with al-Qaeda operatives, and gather intelligence. Alongside of the Americans were elite United Emirates forces. Special operations like this one are always risky. During the raid, America lost Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens.
The team faced difficulties from the beginning. As they descended into the village where the suspected tribal leaders and al-Qaeda operatives were thought to be, Yaklaa, in an Arabian stronghold. They were greeted with land mines and heavy resistance from militants who launched a counter attack.
A Marine Cobra helicopter and two Harrier jets came in to strike at the militant fighters. MV-22 Ospreys were coming in to transfer the wounded and return them to the assault ship for treatment, but the craft lost power and came down hard onto the desert floor. The Osprey was disabled and two Americans were wounded in the crash.
A Marine jet then fired a guided bomb at the $70 million aircraft to destroy it so it wouldn’t fall into militant hands.
As the dust from the battle settled, Yemeni officials estimated 15 women and a child were killed. The women, the Pentagon reported, were participating in the gun battle.
The mission had been a proposal left over from the Obama Administration, who had not had time to fully prepare and execute before Jan. 20. Trump’s top advisors decided to move forward with the mission. It was the first ground battle in Yemen for US Forces since 2014.
The President is on his way to Peoria, Il. to meet with the family of the Navy SEAL killed in Yemen. William “Ryan” Owens, 36, was killed in action Saturday. He is the first combat casualty of Trump’s Administration.