Al-Qaeda Fighters in Yemen Seemed Ready for SEAL Raid

Months before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, multiple intelligence and military officials began planning the raid in Yemen that was meant to cripple al Qaeda’s organization in the Arabian Peninsula. But now the US Central Command (Centcom) says that those killed could include children.The terror group said other children plus women were killed near al Bayda.The eight-year-old girl was the daughter of US-born Yemeni preacher and al-Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki who himself was killed in a United States drone strike in 2011.President Donald Trump declared the raid a success, and on Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed that the operation secured “valuable and actionable intelligence” about the terrorist organization. “But I think when you look at the totality of what was gained to prevent the future loss of life it is a successful operation by all standards”.USA military officials told Reuters, however, that Trump approved his first covert counter-terrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations. It said children may have been among the casualties.The raid left nearly 30 others dead, including an estimated 14 militants and women and children, according to reports.On the negative side of the ledger, the SEALS went into a heavily fortified and well-defended al Qaeda complex and suffered casualties.A White House official said the operation was thoroughly vetted by the previous administration and that the previous defense secretary had signed off on it in January.The youngster, identified as Nawar and daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, was shot in the neck at a suspected al-Qaeda lair in the Yemen.American officials stressed that the Yemeni women killed had opened fire on the Special Forces.Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis denied reports that the mission had been compromised.That’s not to say there’s any evidence the Trump administration has thus far deliberately killed a US citizen. “He said that those reports “[don’t] match with reality”.”The decision was leave it to the incoming administration, partly in the hope that more and better intelligence could be collected”, that official told Reuters.Pentagon officials have identified the soldier as Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens from IL.As Sunday’s firefight intensified, the raiders called in Marine helicopter gunships and Harrier jump jets, and then two MV-22 Osprey vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to extract the SEALs.