A U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 raid on an al-Qaida cell in Yemen Saturday encountered several obstacles, resulting in the death of one operator and wounding six others.
The intent of the raid was to disrupt al-Qaida cell in the Arabian Peninsula that was plotting attacks on the U.S. and its allies. Beginning the operation, a Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey made a “hard landing” near the staging area, injuring three U.S. Navy SEALs in transit to the operation. The downed aircraft was later destroyed by a U.S. airstrike, likely to protect the proprietary technology within it. The Pentagon clarified that the helicopter was not downed by enemy fire, but went down in a “separate but unrelated incident.”
After the raid on the compound began, the SEALs encountered a highly unusual situation. Several women in the compound immediately, ran to pre-established positions — as though they had trained to be ready, and trained to be combatants — and engaged with us,” according to Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis. Davis elaborated that is the first known time by the U.S. military that AQAP employed women in an attack.
U.S. Navy SEAL Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens was killed in a shootout with the militants, which wounded 3 other U.S. Navy SEALs. “Almost everything went wrong,” a U.S. defense official told NBC News after the operation.
The U.S. is also investigating reports that several unarmed women and children were killed in the raid. Reports indicate deceased al-Qaida leader Anwar Al-Awlaki’s eight year old daughter was killed in the crossfire during the raid. “My granddaughter was staying for a while with her mother, so when the attack came, they were sitting in the house, and a bullet struck her in her neck at 2:30 past midnight. Other children in the same house were killed,” her grandfather told NBCNews. Whether Awlaki’s wife was involved in the shooting at the SEALs remains unclear.
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