WASHINGTON, Feb 3: The US has defended its first “successful” special forces operation under President Donald Trump’s watch against al Qaeda militants in Yemen in which one of its soldiers was killed, saying the raid was conducted to prevent the future loss of American lives.
“It was a very, very thought-out process by this administration. It started back on November 7th in terms of – clearly, well before that, but it was moved forward by CENTCOM on November 7th. This was a very, very well thought out and executed effort,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said yesterday.
“It’s hard to ever call something a complete success when you have the loss of life or people injured. But I think when you look at the totality of what was gained to prevent the future loss of life, here in America, and against our people and our institutions and probably throughout the world, in terms of what some of these individuals could have done,” Spicer said.
US special operations forces had conducted the raid in the Yakla region against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in which one soldier was killed and three others were injured, besides numerous Yemeni civilians, including women and nine children.
The move has drawn sharp criticism from Yemeni officials who usually support the US.
Describing it a “successful operation” by all standards, Spicer said it was tough to ever use the word “success” when you know that somebody has lost their life.
“But when you go back and look at an individual that dedicated their life to serving this country and went over and over and over again knowing that this was not only the risk that he took, but wanted to do it because he knew the threat that these kind of individuals pose to our country and to our people, that’s, while not a success that you lost him, you know he died in sacrifice for someone else here in this nation,” he said. (AGENCIES)