US Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys on USS Makin Island, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163, Ex Alligator Dagger, Gulf of Aden, 21 Dec 2016, by LCpl Brandon Maldonado (US Marine Corps)

US Navy SEAL Killed in Yemen Raid

President Trump Honours Fallen Soldier

A Navy special warfare operator who was killed during a Jan. 29 raid in Yemen against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula terrorists was honoured by US President Donald J. Trump for his sacrifice.

President Trump said in a statement:

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.

Defense Secretary Pays Tribute

Shortly after Pentagon officials announced that Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, 36, of Peoria, Illinois, had been killed in the raid, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued a statement expressing his condolences.

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. 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.

Centcom Commander Deeply Saddened

Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, Centcom commander, said:

We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our elite service members. The sacrifices are very profound in our fight against terrorists who threaten innocent peoples across the globe.

14 AQAP Terrorists Killed

U.S. Central Command officials estimated that 14 al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula terrorists were killed in the raid.

Owens was assigned to a special warfare unit based on the U.S. East Coast, Pentagon officials said.

Strikes Kill More AQAP Terrorist Before Raid

U.S. military strikes in central Yemen’s Baydah governate last week killed five al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula operatives, according to U.S. Central Command officials.

A Jan. 21 strike killed three operatives, and strikes conducted Jan. 20 and Jan. 22 each killed one.

“Strikes against al-Qaida operatives in Yemen put consistent pressure on the terrorist network and prevent them from plotting and executing attacks against the U.S. and our allies,” said Army Maj. Josh T. Jacques, a Centcom spokesman, adding that the terrorist group remains a significant threat to the region, the United States and beyond.

Sources:

U.S. Service Member Killed in Raid on Terrorists in Yemen

Mattis Offers Condolences to Family of Navy Chief Lost in Yemen Raid

U.S. Strikes Kill 5 Terrorists in Yemen

Photo: US Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys on USS Makin Island, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163, Ex Alligator Dagger, Gulf of Aden, 21 Dec 2016, by LCpl Brandon Maldonado (US Marine Corps).