Seal Team 6 raid in Yemen was a disaster. Among those killed, in addition to Chief Petty Officer William Owens, were an 8 year old girl, Nawar al-Awlaki, the daughter of the late Anwar al-Awlaki, who was a U.S. citizen. Several other non-combatant women were also killed. According to her grandfather:
My granddaughter was staying for a while with her mother, so when the attack came, they were sitting in the house, and a bullet struck her in her neck at 2:30 past midnight. Other children in the same house were killed," al-Awlaki said. He said the girl died two hours after being shot.
"They [the SEALs] entered another house and killed everybody in it, including all the women. They burned the house. There is an assumption there was a woman [in the house] from Saudi Arabia who was with al Qaeda. All we know is that she was a children's teacher." Al-Awlaki said the girl and her mother had fled the Yemeni capital, Sa'ana, where he lives, to escape the heavy shelling.
Karen Greenberg, director of Fordham University's Center on National Security, said the girl's death will be a boon to al Qaeda propagandists. "The perception will be that it's not enough to kill al-Awlaki — that the U.S. had to kill the entire family," she said.
Intentional or not, Greenberg said, the deaths of three family members will enhance the al Qaeda narrative. She noted that as part of propaganda efforts, terrorist groups have begun to circulate photographs of children reputedly killed by U.S. forces. Photos of Nawar al-Awlaki alive and dead are already circulating widely in Arab media.Disclosure: Karen is the sister of my next-door neighbor.
The raid was ordered by president Trump, it was not planned during the Obama administration.
Leaflets dropped in western Mosul warning of impending attack.
Civilians trapped in western Mosul face starvation, forced conscription, and executions.
Iraqi parliament votes to request government "reciprocate" against U.S. ban on Iraqi entry.
John Allen and Michael O'Hanlon write:
Executive order strands hundreds of Iraqis who worked for the U.S. military, affects tens of thousands of others who are hoping for asylum.Though he campaigned with the urgent goal of defeating the Islamic State group and reasserting American greatness, President Donald Trump has embarked on a policy that could in fact lead to the loss of U.S. influence in Iraq and the worsening of the Sunni-Shiite divide there. Whatever happens in the short term in the fight to liberate Mosul and other parts of the country from the Islamic State group, this policy could lay the groundwork for the emergence of another similar Salafist group there. Trump would have taken us backward, not forward, in the fight against terrorism and seriously eroded our role in a key Arab state that so many Americans gave so much to free and then to help stabilize under two presidents.The immediate cause of our concern is the executive order Friday that prevented the movement of most Iraqis to the United States — including some who served and sacrificed alongside U.S. forces in the war there — along with citizens of six other nations in the region. But in fact the problem is broader and deeper.