36-Year-Old Navy SEAL from Illinois Identified as First Combat Casualty Under Trump
Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens died January 28 following a raid on an al-Qaida base in Yemen.
A decorated Navy SEAL has been identified as the first military combat casualty under the leadership of President Donald Trump.
Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens, 36, of Peoria, Illinois, died January 28 from injuries he sustained during a raid on an al-Qaida base in Yemen.
"Ryan gave his full measure for our nation, and in performing his duty, he upheld the noblest standard of military service," Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said in a statement Monday. "The United States would not long exist were it not for the selfless commitment of such warriors."
The raid was the first carried out under the new president, the Pentagon said. The mission was approved by President Trump and was not a holdover approved under the previous administration, according to reports.
"My deepest thoughts and humblest prayers are with the family of this fallen service member," Trump said of Owens' death.
Pictured: 8-year-old Nawar al-Awlaki was reportedly killed in the first military raid OK'd by Donald Trump
Owens was reportedly killed during an exchange of gunfire that ensued on the ground.
Among the dozens killed in the mission's airstrike were several children, including the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Yemeni-American cleric who was killed, controversially, by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011.
The girl's grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki, told The Associated Press that Nawar, also known as Nora, was shot in the neck and bled for two hours before she died.
The girl's American-born 16-year-old brother was killed in a a previous drone strike ordered by President Obama.
All told, about 30 men and women were killed in the raid.
U.S. Central Command also said in a statement that 14 al-Qaida militants in Yemen were killed in the raid, which they say provided the U.S. military with "information that will likely provide insight into the planning of future terror plots."
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