In a mission where “almost everything went wrong” a U.S. Navy SEAL, an 8 year old girl, at least three high ranking al Qaeda leaders, and dozens of others were killed in President Trump’s first covert military action, reports NBC News. This was President Trump’s first covert operation approved by him; not a hold over operation from President Obama’s administration. The operation was intended to gather intelligence, specifically electronic intelligence that would be used to determine future missions against the terrorist organization.
The Special Operations raid, at an al Qaeda camp in south central Yemen, encountered trouble when an MV-22 Osprey experienced a hard landing, injuring several SEALs. Chief Petty Officer William Owens died from wounds sustained during a firefight with al Qaeda terrorists. The SEALs encountered fighters, including women, as they approached the camp further complicating the operation.
The 8 year old girl was Nawar al-Awlaki, the daughter of US born Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike authorized by President Obama in 2011 that provoked strong feelings by both Republicans and Democrats. Details of the operation are disputed, including the number of civilians dead. The Pentagon reports 14 dead, including “numerous” civilians. Nawar’s grandfather, former Agriculture Minister of Yemen, and father-in-law to Anwar al-Awlaki, reported upwards of 59 people died. Yemen is considered to be an al Qaeda stronghold with upwards of 144 drone strikes since 2010.
While I hate to hear a little girl died during the operation, I can only think of the many lives that will be saved from the information gathered during the raid.
While many people believe President Trump doesn’t have a heart or couldn’t care about this little girl, I for one can only imagine the grief he is going through over her death. I can only trust that President Trump will not waver during this difficult time, and continue to make the difficult decisions that put good people in harms way for the safety of our nation.
On behalf of a grateful nation, RIP Chief Petty Officer William Owens.