BY COLIN TAYLOR
PUBLISHED ON MAY 25, 2017
It appears that President Trump’s latest military operation in Yemen was just as unsuccessful as the first.
On May 23rd, the US Navy’s Seal Team 6 launched a night-time raid on the village of al-Jubah, Marib Governate, deep in the deserts of Yemen. Targeting suspected members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), CENTCOM’s official report states that seven AQAP militants were killed and that the mission was to retrieve laptops and other information from the site.
But once again, everything went wrong from the start.
Human rights organization Reprive told a very different story to the Guardian. Local sources say that Nasser Al-Adha, a partially blind man of 70 years, came outside of his home to welcome the visitors, thinking he had guests.
He was promptly shot dead.
The al-Qaeda group they had been targeting was elsewhere in the vicinity and was alerted by the gunshots. A brief firefight ensued, leaving several American soldiers injured and two AQAP militants dead, according to on the ground reports from Reprieve:
Al-Qaida fighters gathering nearby, who are thought to have been the original target of the raid, were alerted by the gunshots in the village and firefight ensued in which at least two of them were killed. The Navy Seals then left with the help of air support from a helicopter.”
It does not appear that any information was retrieved at all.
This is the second such raid that President Trump has launched into Yemen. The first raid on al-Ghayil village in al-Bayda province was a complete and utter disaster. At least thirty civilians – including ten children and a pregnant mother – were slaughtered by trigger-happy U.S. special forces as they battled al-Qaeda militants who knew they were coming. Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens lost his life and the Navy was forced to destroy a $75 million Osprey aircraft to keep it from falling into the hands of the militants.
Trump’s hands are forever stained with the blood of the innocent just a few months into his administration. Since he relaxed the rules of engagement for U.S. coalition forces battling Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) civilians have been dying at a staggering rate – so quickly that monitoring agencies can’t keep up. The US military just admitted today that they killed 101 civilians in a single airstrike on Mosul, Iraq last month – which is just a fraction of the thousands that have died over the past couple weeks.
Make no mistake. This kind of reckless butchery is putting our nation at great risk on top of being morally appalling.
Salman Abedi, the terrorist who perpetrated the horrifying bombing this week at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK, cited the deaths of civilians by US coalition forces as a motivation for the attack. So did the Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston Marathon a few years ago, as have the perpetrators of countless terror attacks against the West.
Nobody is excusing or apologizing for those heinous acts, but it would be deeply irresponsible and utterly hypocritical for us to refuse to acknowledge the role that the casual slaughter of civilians in the Middle East plays in motivating terrorist attacks against civilians at home.
But considering the breathtakingly cruel budget proposals and healthcare plans that President Trump has proposed, it appears he cares as little for Yemenis as he does for his own citizens.