Earlier this year, President Trump ordered a military raid in Yemen, which led to the deaths of a US Navy SEAL and 23 civilians, including 10 children aged 12 and under. The raid was reckless, violated international law, and led to an appalling loss of life. We must demand answers now.
The raid was a disaster from the start. It was approved by President Trump casually over dinner, and despite concerns about the quality of the intelligence behind it. While President Trump continues to call the raid a “win”, senior officials in his administration have said the raid produced “no significant intelligence” and that “almost everything went wrong” on the night in question.
Reprieve’s research has revealed the devastating human cost of the operation. We have discovered that 23 civilians were killed in this raid, including 10 children aged 12 years and under, an 80 year old man, and several women.
The Trump Administration recently conducted a secret internal review of the operation, which ignored eyewitness accounts, labelled innocent children as combatants, and underestimated the number of civilian casualties. The review concluded that there were no lapses in judgement surrounding the operation. This is simply not good enough.
It is essential that an independent public investigation is launched immediately, to fully investigate these civilian deaths.
This is even more important now, as this week it emerged that President Trump has loosened the rules of targeted killing to give him freedom to conduct more attacks like this, in secret and without congressional oversight. Now is the time to show him we are watching.
We must hold the President accountable for destruction, injuries, and death inflicted in our name. Only by demanding an independent public investigation can we begin to repair the damage, and avoid such disasters in the future.