Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens was killed in a raid on Al-Qaeda in Yemen on Saturday. Three team members were wounded in the raid, in addition to the death of Chief Petty Officer Owens. Three others were injured in a crash of an Osprey MV-22 that was sent to evacuate the wounded.
Raiding AQAP- Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
The raid was set to target “senior al-Qaeda leaders,” but when the team arrived, many of the enemy combatants were female. The raid gathered information about AQAP attacks in Europe and other places. The action was planned under Obama, but had not yet been signed off. It was the first combat death since President Trump was inaugurated.
Officials stated that the mission will give them valuable information on Al-Qaeda’s plans.
Navy SEAL Team 6 fought and killed female fighters of an al-Qaida affiliate in the raid Saturday in Yemen in which a team member was killed, three were wounded and three injured, the Pentagon said Monday.
“There were a lot of female combatants that were a part of this,” Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said of the firefight in the raid Saturday, which the Defense Department and White House said killed at least 14 enemy fighters. “Some of those enem[ies] killed in action were female.”
Davis said the SEALs saw the women running to fighting positions as the team approached an enemy compound in Yemen’s interior.
The main al-Qaida group generally limits women to support roles and suicide attacks, but AQAP reportedly has put women through training for combat.
Chief Petty Officer William Ryan Owens, Navy SEAL
“I extend my condolences to the family and shipmates of Chief Petty Officer William ‘Ryan’ Owens. 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.” Defense Secretary James Mattis
Owens was 36 years old, and from Peoria, Illinois. The only other information released as that he was assigned to an “East Coast based Special Warfare unit.”