In a statement released Sunday, President Donald Trump mourned the death of a United States commando killed in Yemen over the weekend following a raid against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
It was the first combat death under Trump's command. Three other servicemen were injured in the raid which took the lives of several senior AQAP leaders.
"In a successful raid against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) headquarters, brave U.S. forces were instrumental in killing an estimated 14 AQAP members and capturing important intelligence that will assist the U.S. in preventing terrorism against its citizens and people around the world," Trump said, according to CNN.
"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," he added. "The sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces, and the families they leave behind, are the backbone of the liberty we hold so dear as Americans, united in our pursuit of a safer nation and a freer world."
"My deepest thoughts and humblest prayers are with the family of this fallen service member. I also pray for a quick and complete recovery for the brave service members who sustained injuries," the president went on to say.
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A US military official said the raid was not directed against specific individuals, but aimed at "site exploitation," a military term to describe intelligence-gathering actions.
Central Command said an aircraft assisting in the operation experienced a hard landing, resulting in an additional US injury. That aircraft, which a US defense official said was a V-22 Osprey, was unable to fly after the landing and was then intentionally destroyed in place.
The US operation resulted in an estimated total of 14 members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) being killed and the capture of information that will likely provide insight into the planning of future terror plots.
According to U.S. defense officials, Trump authorized the raid.
Yemeni security and tribal officials said the raid in Yemen's central Bayda province killed three senior al-Qaida leaders: Abdul-Raouf al-Dhahab, Sultan al-Dhahab, and Seif al-Nims.
A news service linked to al-Qaida in Yemen likened the raid to a "massacre against Muslims" and said U.S. warplanes were first seen in the sky above the area at 9 p.m. Saturday and that the raid began at 2 a.m. on Sunday, with 16 missiles hitting three houses near Yakla village in Radaa district.
The military also said that no civilians were killed as a result of the attack, according to CNN. However, AQAP officials disputed that and sent photos of what appeared to be dead children to a reporter with the Associated Press located in Cairo, Egypt.
The name of the killed U.S. serviceman has yet to be released.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.