Pentagon Identifies Navy Sailor Killed in Yemen Raid

• January 31, 2017 12:24 am


The Department of Defense on Monday identified a Navy sailor who died over the weekend in Yemen in a raid targeting al Qaeda, the first reported U.S. military death since Donald Trump became president.

Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens was killed Saturday from "wounds sustained in a raid against al-Qaeda," the Pentagon said in a news release.

Owens, 36, of Peoria, Illinois was assigned to a Special Warfare based in the East Coast of the United States.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis released a statement shortly after the department identified Owens.

"Ryan gave his full measure for our nation, and in performing his duty, he upheld the noblest standard of military service," Mattis said. "The United States would not long exist were it not for the selfless commitment of such warriors."

"I thank our gallant troops and their families for their dedication to protecting this nation, and I pass our respects to Ryan's family in this most difficult time."

Three other U.S. commandos were wounded in the raid targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has long been considered the terrorist group's most dangerous branch. A fourth service member was injured nearby during a hard landing of a military aircraft helping with the mission. An estimated 30 people, including 14 militants, were killed in the raid.

Published under: Department of Defense, Iran, Navy, Yemen