According to U.S. officials, a U.S. service member was killed during a raid against a group of senior Al-Qaeda leaders in central Yemen. Three other soldiers were wounded.
In a statement Sunday, the U.S. Central Command also said that another service member was injured during a “hard landing” in a nearby location.
Commander of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel said in the statement:
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our elite servicemembers. The sacrifices are very profound in our fight against terrorists who threaten innocent peoples across the globe.”
According to reports, the Osprey aircraft used in the raid was unable to fly afterward and was then “intentionally destroyed in place.”
U.S. soldiers did kill 14 Al-Qaeda fighters in the Arabian Peninsula assault, and U.S. service members captured “information that will likely provide insight into the planning of future terror plots,” according to the military.
This was the first counter-terrorism offensive under President Donald Trump and the first combat death since he has been president.
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Yemeni officials told The Associated Press, “The surprise dawn attack killed Abdul-Raouf al-Dhahab, Sultan al-Dhahab, and Seif al-Nims.” The tribal officials said the Americans were looking for Al-Qaeda leader Qassim al-Rimi, adding that they captured and departed with at least two unidentified individuals.
Officials did not know whether the family members were actual members of Al-Qaeda, but the al-Dhahab family is considered an ally of Al-Qaeda, which security forces say is concentrated in the Bayda province.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, long seen by Washington as among the most dangerous branches of the global terror network, has always taken advantage of the instability of Yemen’s civil war and has seized territories in the south and east.
Just over a week ago, suspected U.S. drone strikes killed three other alleged Al-Qaeda operatives in the Bayda province, the first killings of terrorists under Donald Trump’s presidency.
H/T: Fox News
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