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'Almost Everything Went Wrong' in First Trump-Era Raid

2 Americans died in mission on Yemen village
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2017 3:51 AM CST
Updated Jan 31, 2017 5:33 AM CST

(Newser) – The first American military raid of the Trump administration wasn't a complete failure, but "almost everything went wrong," a senior military official tells NBC News. The Sunday raid in Yemen, which the president approved last week, left dozens of people dead, including two Americans: a service member identified Monday as Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens, 36, and Nora al-Awlaki, the 8-year-old daughter of radical US-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki. Her father was killed in a US drone strike in 2011 and her 16-year-old brother died in a 2013 strike. Officials tell the New York Times that the raid had been in the works for months, but the Obama administration handed final approval over to President Trump.

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Owens, a Navy SEAL from Peoria, Ill., died after being wounded during the raid on an al-Qaeda-held village, the Washington Post reports. Another three members of his unit were hurt during the firefight, and three more were injured, one severely, when their MV-22 Osprey aircraft had a "hard landing" at the site. Pentagon officials say three al-Qaeda leaders were among 14 fighters killed during the raid. Medics say at least 30 people died at the scene, including women and children. Nora al-Awlaki's grandfather, former Yemeni Agriculture Minister Nasser al-Awlaki, claims the true number is closer to 60. Nora "was hit with a bullet in her neck and suffered for two hours," he tells Reuters. "Why kill children?" (Read more Yemen stories.)

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