Recent US Raid Aims to Target Al Qaeda in Yemen

By William Moore, International News Writer

In the time following the raid, it was also reported by a number of sources that an American citizen, an eight-year-old girl, may have been killed. Aljazeera reports that local sources have said the girl was the daughter of senior al-Qaeda cleric and US citizen Anwar al-Awlaqi, who was killed in a 2011 US drone strike.

Following the operation, the Trump administration came under fire from a number of sources, including human-rights groups, members of the media, and the Brussels-based International Crisis Group – an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict. In a statement released Wednesday covered by Aljazeera, the group said that, “The first military actions by the Trump administration in Yemen bode poorly for the prospect of smartly and effectively countering al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).” The report continued, “The use of US soldiers, high civilian casualties, and disregard for local tribal and political dynamics…plays into AQAP’s narrative of defending Muslims against the West and could increase anti-US sentiment and with it AQAP’s pool of recruits.”

As the New York Times reports, at least one democratic member of the House Armed Services Committee has called for an investigation into the mission and the allegations of civilian casualties.

In response to these criticisms, the Trump administration was quick to defend the planning and execution of the mission. CNN reports that officials said the operation had been planned months in advance and had been briefed to then-president Barack Obama, who left the task of authorizing the raid to his successor for “operational reasons.”

Press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters, “This was a very, very well-thought-out and executed effort.”

Mr. Trump justified the attack on the heavily-guarded compound by saying that the commandos recovered valuable information, including laptops, cellphones, and hard drives, that could be used to thwart future terrorist attacks, as the New York Times reports.

In a statement issued Sunday, reported by CNN, the president said the mission acquired, “important intelligence that will assist the US in preventing terrorism against its citizens and people around the world,” while also expressing condolence at the loss of life and hoping for a speedy recovery for the injured.

According to the New York Times, Mr. Spicer stated that “it is tough to ever use the word ‘success’ when you know that somebody has lost their life.” But nevertheless, asserted that the operation accomplished what it had set out to do.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 7th print edition.

Contact William at

William.moore1@student.shu.edu

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