Al Qaeda women fighters also killed in special ops raid in Yemen

US special forces who led a rare ground assault against Al-Qaeda in Yemen over the weekend killed women fighting alongside male troops, the Defense Department said Monday.

"There were a lot of female combatants" in Sunday's battle, said Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis.

"Female fighters ran to pre-established positions as though they had trained to be ready" to fight the US forces, he said.

The US special forces mounted the raid in the Yakla region of Baida province against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which Washington views as the global terror network's most dangerous branch.

A US service member was killed during a firefight and three others were injured in a hard landing of a V-22 Osprey military aircraft nearby, Davis said.

On the AQAP side, 14 fighters, including women, were killed, according to the Pentagon. The jihadist militant group said nearly 30 people were killed, including women and children.

The Pentagon declined to say whether children were among the fatalities and stated that the death toll was still being evaluated.

The operation, which President Donald Trump said "will assist the US in preventing terrorism against its citizens and people around the world," was the first major US military action in Yemen since he took office on January 20.

According to the Pentagon, it was aimed at gathering information, using a lightning raid by special forces to seize the maximum amount of documents, computers or other electronic devices before pulling back.
This is the kind of intelligence that has been largely missing from Obama's drone strike program.  It could result in a much bigger setback for the enemy as the information is analyzed for actionable intelligence.   The after action focus will probably also involve questions of how the raid was discovered so quickly as well as the problem with aircraft used to evacuate the SEAL team.


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