While President Trump was publicly mourning the death of a SEAL Team 6 member, and several others wounded in the raid on a compound purported to harbor al-Qaeda officials, reports from Yemen indicate that as many as 10 women and children were also killed in the raid.
As usual, public reports in the corporate mainstream media failed to acknowledge any of the civilian deaths, after the U.S. military initially denied that any civilians were killed in the raid.
According to a report by the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald:
In a hideous symbol of the bipartisan continuity of U.S. barbarism, Nasser al-Awlaki just lost another one of his young grandchildren to U.S. violence. On Sunday, the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, using armed Reaper drones for cover, carried out a commando raid on what it said was a compound harboring officials of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. A statement issued by President Trump lamented the death of an American service member and several others who were wounded, but made no mention of any civilian deaths. U.S. military officials initially denied any civilian deaths, and (therefore) the CNN report on the raid said nothing about any civilians being killed.
But reports from Yemen quickly surfaced that 30 people were killed, including 10 women and children. Among the dead: the 8-year-old granddaughter of Nasser al-Awlaki, who was also the daughter of Anwar Awlaki.
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) January 29, 2017
Award-winning investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill – who extensively interviewed the grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki, in Yemen for his book and Oscar Award winning film “Dirty Wars” – tweeted that the child’s grandfather informed him that she was “was shot in the neck and killed,” with the child subsequently bleeding to death over the course of two hours.
Despite US claims no civilians were killed in Yemen raid, Dr. Nasser Awlaki says his 8 yr old granddaughter was shot in the neck & killed
— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) January 29, 2017
In 2011, the now-deceased eight-year-old’s father, Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen never charged with a crime, was assassinated by a drone strike in Yemen. Although designated an al-Qaeda terrorist by the U.S., the killing of an American citizen without due process was extremely controversial and led to a lawsuit against the Obama administration that was subsequently dismissed by the court.
Only two weeks later after the killing of Awlaki, another CIA drone strike in Yemen killed al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, also a U.S. citizen – and not a suspected terrorist – in addition to his 17-year-old cousin and a number of other innocent Yemenis, reported Greenwald.
The U.S. claimed that the killing of an American teenager was simply “collateral damage,” with one official, former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, incredulously blaming the teen for his own death by stating that he perhaps wouldn’t be dead if he “had a more responsible father.”
The New York Times reported that the raid was debated by military officials for months during the Obama administration, but ultimately left the decision up to the incoming Trump administration. Trump personally authorized the raids last week, with the “main target” being “computer materials in the house that could contain clues about future terrorist plots.” The Times report went on to note that Yemeni sources claimed that “at least eight women and seven children, ages 3 to 13, had been killed in the raid,” and that the attack also “severely damaged a school, a health facility and a mosque.”
Just last week, in a report for the Intercept, Matthew Cole noted that SEAL Team 6 is notorious for engaging in “revenge ops,’ unjustified killings, mutilations, and other atrocities.” For all the campaign rhetoric about targeting the families of suspected terrorist, perhaps we may have just witnessed it in action in the death of this eight-year-old child.