On Sunday, U.S. officials reported that a Navy SEAL was killed and four others were wounded during a U.S.-led counterterrorism operation against Al Qaeda in Yemen. The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reported that while targeting the terror group in the Arabian Peninsula, the elite counterterrorism unit SEAL Team Six was able to kill 14 Al Qaeda operatives in what was the first mission approved and carried out under President Donald Trump. The hour-long surprise attack was conducted at the home of a top Al Qaeda leader with the focus of retrieving computer materials that could contain information about future terror plots.
“Americans are saddened this morning with news that a life of a heroic service member has been taken in our fight against the evil of radical Islamic terrorism. The sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces, and the families they leave behind, are the backbone of the liberty we hold so dear as Americans, united in our pursuit of a safer nation and a freer world. My deepest thoughts and humblest prayers are with the family of this fallen service member. I also pray for a quick and complete recovery for the brave service members who sustained injuries,” Trump said in a statement.
The U.S. service members that were killed or injured have not yet been released.
The mission Trump said that the raid was successful as the team managed to capture “important intelligence that will assist the U.S. in preventing terrorism against its citizens and people around the world.”
CENTCOM released a statement saying that an V-22 Osprey that was assisting in the operation made a hard landing which led to the fourth service member being injured. The aircraft was subsequently destroyed to avoid the enemy obtaining any information.
“That aircraft was unable to fly after the landing, [and] the aircraft was then intentionally destroyed in place,” according to the statement.
Three senior Al Qaeda officials are believed to have been killed during the raid: Abdul-Raouf al-Dhahab, Sultan al-Dhahab, and Seif al-Nims.
CENTCOM Commander Army Gen. Joseph Votel said in a statement that they are “deeply saddened” by the loss and that the sacrifices made to protect citizens around the world are “profound.”
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our elite service members. The sacrifices are very profound in our fight against terrorists who threaten innocent peoples across the globe,” he said.