President Donald Trump in a statement Sunday mourned the loss of a U.S. service member in a raid on the Al-Qaida branch in Yemen; it was the first combat action he personally authorized as the new Commander-in-Chief.
“Americans are saddened this morning with news that a life of a heroic service member has been taken in our fight against the evil of radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said.
“My deepest thoughts and humblest prayers are with the family of this fallen service member,” Trump said. “I also pray for a quick and complete recovery for the brave service members who sustained injuries.”
Trump said that the “successful raid” against what he described as a headquarters in Yemen of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula resulted in U.S. forces “killing an estimated 14 AQAP members and capturing important intelligence that will assist the U.S. in preventing terrorism against its citizens and people around the world.”
U.S. Central Command said that one U.S. service member was killed, three were wounded, and a fourth was injured in the “hard landing” of a military aircraft after the raid.
The identity of the service member who was killed was withheld until the family could be notified. Several news outlets reported that the service member was serving with the elite Navy SEAL Team 6.
Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of CENTCOM, said in a statement that “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.”
The military aircraft that made the hard landing was reportedly an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. “That aircraft was unable to fly after the landing (and) the aircraft was then intentionally destroyed in place,” the CENTCOM statement said.
Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com