On Monday, the Pentagon released a statement identifying the U.S. Navy SEAL that was killed during a raid in Yemen over the weekend as Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens. The 36-year-old sailor was supporting U.S Central Command Operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula when he received fatal wounds on January 28th. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis released a statement on the casualty, sending his condolences to Owens’ family and shipmates.
“Ryan gave his full measure for our nation, and in performing his duty, he upheld the noblest standard of military service. The United States would not long exist were it not for the selfless commitment of such warriors,” Secretary Mattis said.
“I thank our gallant troops and their families for their dedication to protecting this nation, and I pass our respects to Ryan’s family in this most difficult time,” he continued.
Owens lost his life while conducting the first raid on Al Qaeda headquarters while President Trump has been Commander in Chief. Four other service members were wounded during the U.S.-led operation that resulting in the team taking out 14 Al Qaeda members and retrieving computer material pertinent to gathering information about planned terrorist plots. Trump released a statement following the incident.
“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,” the President said.
A V-22 Osprey that assisted in the operation made a hard landing, leading to the fourth injury.
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.