Al-Qaida terrorists fired indiscriminately at U.S. Navy SEALs despite the presence of women and children in the late night Jan. 28 raid deep inside Yemen, The Washington Post reports.
The raid has become a hot button political issue after Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Ryan Owens was killed in the midst of the operation. President Donald Trump’s critics say the raid was ill considered and hastily ordered. The Trump administration countered that the raid was planned down to its minute details during the Obama administration, and that they were only carrying out existing counter-terrorism policies.
The Trump administration also has justified the raid saying that it yielded valuable intelligence that will save U.S. lives. Some senior intelligence officials disputed that claim to NBCNews, saying that the intelligence has not been particularly remarkable, despite repeated claims to the contrary.
The new details of the raid indicate that after the SEALs pushed the al-Qaida terrorists out of their primary residence, they retreated to a nearby building and began indiscriminately firing. The terrorists also lobbed grenades at the SEALs, despite the presence of numerous women and children. The Pentagon indicated after the raid that innocent civilians were killed in the raid, but emphasized that women in the compound took up arms against the SEALs.
After the SEALs realized that they could not shoot their way out of the encounter they called for air support and extraction. A Marine Corps MV-22 lost power upon arrival and crashed, injuring three additional service-members.
“Almost everything went wrong,” a U.S. defense official told NBC News after the operation.
Owens’s father told the Miami Herald he spurned Trump at Owens’s coffin arrival at Dover Air Force base, and that he demanded “an investigation,” into his son’s death. White House press secretary Sean Spicer responded to the request Monday, saying that the U.S. military would already be conducting three separate investigations into the incident, and defended the raid.
“I can tell him that on the behalf of the president his son died a hero and the information that he was able to help obtain through that raid as I said before was going to help save American lives,” Spicer said.
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