An after-action review of the deadly SEAL Team 6 raid of a terrorist compound in Yemen shows that the Jan. 29 mission was not compromised, but it also concludes that the enemy was more ready to fight than expected and that women in one building surprised the commandos by firing weapons.
A house for family members within the terrorist compound was deemed not a major concern, based on an assumption that civilians would not likely fight, a U.S. military source told The Washington Times.
The SEAL team had hoped to collect more digital intelligence data, but a fierce firefight prevented a fuller search-and-seizure operation.
Special operations forces recently had conducted only one known counterterrorism ground raid against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen. Experience about what exactly to expect from AQAP fighters was lacking.
In the days after the mission, during which Navy Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens was killed and a V-22 Osprey destroyed, press reports said fighters could be heard on a communications net, or “chatter,” saying they knew the SEALs were coming.
But the military source said that U.S. Central Command’s official review found no evidence of any such communication coming out of or going into the targeted compound.