Middle East/North Africa

Yemen SEAL raid yielded no significant intel: report

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The raid on an al Qaeda compound in Yemen last month that left civilians and a U.S. Navy SEAL dead has not produced any significant intelligence so far, according to a new report.

Senior U.S. officials said they were unaware of valuable information from the Jan. 29 operation, which killed SEAL Ryan Owens and up to 30 civilians, NBC News said Monday.

Monday’s news seems at odds with Pentagon officials’ claims that the controversial mission produced “actionable intelligence” about al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen.

{mosads}A senior congressional official briefed on the matter told NBC Monday that the Trump administration has not yet explained what inspired the rare use of U.S. ground troops in Yemen.

NBC’s source added he was not aware of any new threat from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the affiliate targeted in the operation.

The official and others briefed on the matter also said the raid was designed to capture or kill one or more militants, something the military did not initially acknowledge.

Pentagon officials originally called the mission a “site exploitation mission” aimed at gathering intelligence instead.

Multiple senior U.S. officials additionally told NBC they have not seen evidence to support the administration’s claims of success in the raid.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer earlier Monday said the Department of Defense will conduct a “three-pronged” review into Owens’s death last month.

“There will be three reviews done by the Department of Defense because of the nature of this,” he said during his daily press briefing.

“I can’t possibly imagine what he’s going through in terms of the loss of his son,” Spicer added when asked about criticism from Owens’s father about the incident.

“I can tell him on behalf of the president, his son died a hero, and the info that he was able to help obtain through that raid, as I’ve said before, is going to save American lives. The mission was successful in helping to prevent a future attack or attacks on this nation.”

Owens’s father told the Miami Herald Sunday that “the government owes my son an investigation” into last month’s raid.

U.S. Central Command said it killed 14 AQAP operatives during the mission, which also wounded six other American service members besides Owens.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism said that at least 25 civilians also perished, including nine children under the age of 13.

Tags al Qaeda national intelligence Navy SEALs Politics Ryan Owens Terrorism Yemen
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