Following a presidential campaign filled with declarations to take more bold action against terror groups, President Donald Trump has authorized his first major use of American military power on Sunday. A ground operation was conducted in the country of Yemen by US Special Forces, leaving at least fourteen suspected al-Qaeda militants dead, as well as one US commando, and several civilians.

US raid under Trump follows long campaign of drone strikes

Yemen has been devastated by civil war since 2015, with the majority of the violence between Yemeni government forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansor Hadi and the Houthis, and Shiite rebels who are situated in the north of the country.

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Several Arab countries, led by Saudi Arabia, have launched military operations in the country in support of government forces. Several parts of the country are also now under the control of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP). The United States has supported the Saudi-led coalition in their military actions against the Houthis, and the US military has also been conducting drone strikes against AQAP militants since the beginning of the war. It is estimated that upwards of 16,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict.

ISIS Suicide Bomb Kills 47 in Former Al-Qaeda Town in Yemen - newsweek.com
ISIS Suicide Bomb Kills 47 in Former Al-Qaeda Town in Yemen - newsweek.com

The raid that took place Sunday was under the order of President Donald Trump. Trump's predecessor, former President Barack Obama, had dramatically expanded the American role in the conflict. The raid in question took place in the Yemeni province of Baida. American military officials have stated that fourteen AQAP militants were killed in the raid, in addition to the death of one US Commando. The US has not given details as to how the deceased Commando died. US officials have also stated that three other Commandos were injured in the raid.

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Civilians killed from Trump's order

Yemeni officials have stated that up to eighteen civilians were killed in the military raid on Sunday. There have been reports of bombing from US helicopters leading to civilian casualties. Among the innocent killed in the raid was the eight-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen killed by a drone strike issued by President Obama in 2011 without due process. Witnesses have stated that the eight-year-old was killed by a shot to the neck.

The raid has marked the end of the first week of Trump's presidency, which has seen a large amount of executive action by the President and enormous controversy over an immigration ban issued on Friday.

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