NBC News has reported that a Navy Seal and an 8-year-old girl have been killed in the first military raid to be carried out under President Donald Trump’s tenure.
Praying for all the lives lost. This is unacceptable. https://t.co/lXX9Y01Tey
— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) January 31, 2017
According to the reports, both of the those killed were American citizens. The girl was the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, a New Mexico-born Al-Qaeda leader who was killed in a raid five years ago. The seal was a member of Seal Team Six, Ryan Owens.
The raid took place in Southern Yemen and was ordered by the Joint Special Operations Command. Military officials say the raid’s intention was to capture intelligence, specifically computers. They also noted that two Al-Qaeda leaders were killed in the attack.
Despite what was previously reported, it has now been confirmed that this mission was not a hold-over from the Obama administration, but rather one ordered by President Trump. The official, who remained anonymous, said, “almost everything went wrong.”
The MV-22 Osprey experienced a hard landing near the site that resulted in the injury of several SEALs. Owens, himself, was killed in the ensuing firefight along with several bystanders including Al-Awlaki’s daughter.
Defense Secretary James Mattis left one of D.C.’s most important social events to deal with the fallout. On Monday, he released a statement praising Owens for his sacrifice.
‘Ryan gave his full measure for our nation, and in performing his duty, he upheld the noblest standard of military service’
In addition to Al-Awlaki’s daughter, who has been identified as Nora, several other non-combatants, mostly women, were also killed in the raid. U.S. officials say that some of the women who were killed had fired upon U.S. forces.
The girl’s grandfather, Nasser Al-Awlak, told NBC News a different version of events, which he obtained through his own sources within the Yemen government.
‘My granddaughter was staying for a while with her mother, so when the attack came, they were sitting in the house, and a bullet struck her in her neck at 2:30 past midnight. Other children in the same house were killed
They [the SEALs] entered another house and killed everybody in it, including all the women. They burned the house. There is an assumption there was a woman [in the house] from Saudi Arabia who was with al Qaeda. All we know is that she was a children’s teacher’
U.S. officials said the attack was meant to weaken Al-Qaeda which currently has a strong grip on Yemen. However, some have warned that the girl’s death will embolden extremist groups.
Karen Greenberg, director of Fordham University’s Center on National Security told NBC:
‘The perception will be that it’s not enough to kill al-Awlaki — that the U.S. had to kill the entire family.’
Featured image via Getty Images.