A United States military service member, now identified as William “Ryan” Owens, was killed in Yemen on Sunday. Owens is the first US combat death during President Donald Trump’s new administration.
[Scroll Down for Video]
14 Al Qaeda militants were also killed in the raid on a compound in the rural Yakla district. U.S. Central Command said the assault on the terror produced “information that will likely provide insight into the planning of future terror plots.”
Three other service members were injured during the raid. A fourth was injured in what the military is characterizing as a “hard landing” of an Osprey. That aircraft, which was badly damaged, was destroyed on site.
President Trump praised the service of Owens, and noted that the raid was in service of the fight against “radical Islamic terrorism,” a term that had been conspicuously absent during the last administration.
“Americans are saddened this morning with news that a life of a heroic service member has been taken in our fight against the evil of radical Islamic terrorism,” the statement read.
“The sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces, and the families they leave behind, are the backbone of the liberty we hold so dear as Americans, united in our pursuit of a safer nation and a freer world.”
The raid in Yemen comes hours after Trump’s executive order banned refugees and others from Yemen from entering the United States.
Regional media outlets are reporting that the raid killed members of the al-Dhahab family. U.S. officials have linked the family with Al Qaeda.
Trump’s trip today is tied closely with the Yemen raid. The commander-in-chief and his daughter Ivanka were seen leaving the White House Wednesday afternoon, yet the trip had not been announced on his schedule. President Trump’s destination was Dover Air Force Base.
That where the 36-year-old Illinois native’s body was taken when he returned to the United States. President Trump, demonstrating where his priorities are, was there to meet him and his family upon his return.
There was no media coverage of the tragic homecoming as Owens’ family had requested privacy.