Trump honors US navy seal killed during Yemen raid

Civilians were ‘likely’ killed in the US commando raid and children may have been among the dead, US military’s Central Command said

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday made an unannounced visit by helicopter to Delaware to honor the Navy SEAL killed in a daring raid in Yemen, the first American combat death since he became commander-in-chief.

Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens of Illinois, who reportedly was a member of the famed SEAL Team 6, was killed Sunday in a rare ground assault in conflict-torn Yemen. Trump flew from the White House aboard the Marine One presidential helicopter to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for the repatriation of Owens’s remains.

Trump was accompanied by his daughter Ivanka and was due to meet with the Owens family. Owens, 36, was killed during a firefight. Three commandos were wounded in the raid and three more were injured when a V-22 Osprey military aircraft made a hard landing, according to Pentagon spokesman Chris Sherwood.

Also read: UK ambassador to Yemen: ‘War caused by seizure of power by Houthis, Saleh’

US special operations forces had mounted the raid in the Yakla region of Baida province against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which Washington views as the global terror network’s most dangerous branch. On the AQAP side, 14 fighters, including women, were killed, according to the Pentagon.

Officials said the commando raid was aimed at gathering intelligence and seizing computers and other electronic equipment being used by AQAP. The raid snagged “an unbelievable amount of intelligence that will prevent the potential deaths or attacks on American soil,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

But “you never want to call something a success 100 percent when someone’s hurt or killed,” he told reporters.

Civilians were “likely” killed in a US commando raid in Yemen over the weekend and children may have been among the dead, the US military’s Central Command said Wednesday.

The January 29 raid against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has garnered wide attention because a Navy SEAL was also killed and several more wounded in what marked the first operation of its kind authorized by President Donald Trump.

A Yemeni provincial official had previously said 16 civilians were killed in the raid – eight women and eight children – but CENTCOM did not provide any numbers.

“A team designated by the operational task force commander has concluded regrettably that civilian non-combatants were likely killed in the midst of a firefight during a raid in Yemen January 29. Casualties may include children,” CENTCOM said in a statement.

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