Press release: February 9th, 2017:
President Donald Trump has defended a US raid on a Yemeni village that resulted in the death of at least 23 civilians and a US Navy Seal.
The President tweeted this morning in response to public criticism of the raid by a senior Republican, Senator John McCain. Mr Trump said that the Yemen raid was a “winning mission”, that the US should “start winning again”, and that Mr McCain “should not be talking about” its success or failure to the media.
International human rights organization Reprieve, which assists the civilian victims of covert US strikes, has established that at least 23 civilians were killed during the raid. Among the civilian dead were a newborn baby, an eight year old girl, and an 80-year-old tribal elder.
Commenting, Jennifer Gibson, Drones and Kill List Project Lead at Reprieve, said:
“No mission that results in the deaths of dozens of women, children and the elderly should be described as a ‘win.’ Foreign operations are not sporting events – and killing civilians will not help America win anything. If President Trump truly wants to make the US safer, he should call for a full, transparent investigation into this raid, and learn from the mistakes made.”
Notes to editors
1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve US, based in New York City, can be contacted on Katherine [dot] oshea [at] reprieve.org / +1 917 855 8064. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on: communications [at] reprieve.org.uk / +44 (0) 207 553 8140.
2. Research by Reprieve has found that secret attacks by the US in countries including Yemen have frequently missed their target. For example, past US attempts to target 41 named individuals led to the deaths of 1,147 unknown people – often leaving the ‘target’ unharmed.