Pentagon officials confirmed that Navy SEAL Team 6 attacked what they described as an “al-Qaeda headquarters” in Yemen’s central Bayda Province, bragging of killing “about 14” al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters and taking a cache of information. They reported a single soldier killed.
Absent from the Pentagon’s account of what happened over the course of the raid, which supposedly lasted less than an hour, and left a large number of women and children riddled with bullets, including at least one eight-year-old girl named Nora, the daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US cleric who was assassinated by the Obama Administration. The Cairo AP office reported receiving photographs showing the bodies of several young children who were shot multiple times during the raid. Roughly 57 people were killed overall, according to Yemeni officials, though they claimed a lot more AQAP fighters slain than the US reckoning of 14. Either way, a substantial number of civilians were among the slain.
Awlaki’s 2011 assassination was hugely controversial, both because he was a US citizen killed on the orders of the Obama Administration and because the administration declined to charge him with any crimes beforehand, simply presenting his sermons as proof of terrorism. Awlaki’s 16-year-old son was assassinated, again on Obama’s order, two weeks later.
Officials say this raid had initially been proposed to President Obama but wasn’t approved until after President Trump took office and signed off on the plan. Even with the Pentagon ignoring all the slain children, the narrative isn’t exactly one of a super successful first ground raid into Yemen going off without a hitch.
“Pentagon officials confirmed the death of one US soldier in the fighting. Three other soldiers were wounded during the raid, and a fourth was wounded in the initial evacuation attempt, in which the V-22 Osprey crashed into the ground during a failed landing.