One American was killed and three wounded in a firefight Saturday against al Qaeda militants in Yemen, the Pentagon confirmed Sunday. Local reports say the raid killed about 30 people, including 10 women and three children. The U.S. commandos arrived by helicopter in the Yakla district of al-Bayda province to target a leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Abdulraoof al-Dhahab, who was among those killed.
"The operation began at dawn when a drone bombed the home of Abdulraoof al-Dhahab and then helicopters flew up and unloaded paratroopers at his house and killed everyone inside," a Yemeni observer told Reuters on condition of anonymity. "Next, the gunmen opened fire at the U.S. soldiers who left the area, and the helicopters bombed the gunmen and a number of homes and led to a large number of casualties." One helicopter was damaged in the incident and intentionally destroyed on site.
Though the United States has long provided support for Saudi Arabia's coalition intervention in Yemen, including drone strikes, this is believed to be the first U.S. ground operation in Yemen's civil war. It is also the first counterterrorism operation approved by President Trump.