After US forces appeared to have murdered an eight-year-old Yemeni-American girl by shooting her in the neck during a raid conducted by the Navy SEALs over the weekend, calls for accountability have been made.
Anger was sparked as Washington mourned the death of a serviceman who also died in the operation, with little regard to the slaying of Nawar, along with 15 other civilians. Yemeni medical sources indicate that the dead included eight women and eight children.
‘Almost everything that could go wrong did’
A New York Times report revealed that the raid was initially suggested by the Obama administration and the plan was to raid the village in Al-Bayda province to conduct a counterterrorism operation. Obama, however, did not go through with this operation because he allegedly wanted it to be carried out at a “moonless night”, which would have occurred after his term was over.
After a meeting with his closest advisors, and Defence Secretary James Mattis, better known as “Mad Dog”, President Donald Trump approved the operation, hoping the raid would lead to the confiscation of mobile phones and laptop computers that could serve as technological intelligence in defeating Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
It seems that the Trump administration did not account for the protection of innocent civilian lives, and later made no comment on the killing of one of its own citizens at the hands of the US government.
Despite this, Trump declared the operation a success in finding “important intelligence that will assist the US in preventing terrorism against its citizens and people around the world.” No statement was made about the civilian deaths, except for a faint acknowledgement from the Pentagon that there was a possibility that civilians could have been killed.
Trump offers condolences
Trump yesterday, along with his daughter Ivanka Trump, attended the dignified transfer ceremony of US serviceman Chief Petty Officer William Owens and expressed his condolences to his family.
Six years ago, Nawar’s older brother Abdurrahman was killed by a US drone strike, in which the Obama administration denied he was “specifically targeted”. It sparked a national debate on the legality of his killing, as he was not only a child but a US citizen.