The Pentagon on Sunday confirmed the death of a U.S. servicemember in a raid in Yemen targeting al-Qaeda, marking the first American combat death under the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. Zachary Goelman reports.
The Pentagon on Sunday confirming the first American killed in action under the new U.S. administration. The service-member died and three more were injured in a pre-dawn raid in Yemen targeting al-Qaeda militants the day before. A military official telling Reuters the assault is the first military operation authorized by President Donald Trump. A resident who witnessed the raid said it began with a drone strike on a house. Then helicopters dropped troops who entered the home an killed all inside. Gunmen opened fire on the U.S. commandos, and American attack helicopters bombed the gunmen and several homes. A Yemeni security official corroborated the account. One resident said several bodies remained under debris. Medics at the scene said 30 people, including 10 women and children, were killed. The U.S. servicemember was reportedly killed in the firefight. Three more american commandos were injured when an military aircraft made what the pentagon called a 'hard landing.' The disabled aircraft was subsequently destroyed intentionally. U.S. officials saying 14 al-Qaeda militants were killed in the operation, but did not confirm reports of civilian deaths. Among the dead, the eight-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. born preacher and al-Qaeda ideologue who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011. Her death reported Sunday by her grandfather. During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump suggested the American military could target family members of suspected terrorists. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Dec. 3, 2015, saying: 'Let me tell you, they're not so innocent' President Trump has pledged a more aggressive campaign against Islamist fighters around the world. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. President Donald Trump on January 21, saying: 'Radical Islamic terrorism, and I said it yesterday, has to be eradicated.' Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch is a frequent target of U.S. drone strikes. The Pentagon saying the raid netted information that will likely provide insight into the planning of future terror plots.