The Pentagon made the plan. However, in one of his first actions as a war president, it was up to President Donald Trump to make the call barely a week after his inauguration.
As a result, a Navy SEAL team on Saturday attacked a remote spot in Yemen in a raid that killed 14 al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula terrorists and gained important intelligence for the United States.
Military planners had developed the operation, and when it was ready needed Trump to decide whether to send in the SEALs or order a drone strike.
The decision to send in the SEALs had a heavy cost. One American, identified Monday as Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, was killed in the raid.
“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,” Trump said in a statement Sunday summarizing the first counterterrorism operation of his administration and the first combat death of his White House tenure.
The mission was designed to gather intelligence, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
“This was specifically for us to gather the information we needed to map out this group better and prevent future foreign attacks,” he said.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 30, 2017