U.S. commandos killed an unspecified number of women who allegedly shot at the Americans during a weekend raid targeting al-Qaida fighters in Yemen, the Pentagon said Monday as battlefield reports claimed several innocent civilians also perished in the operation.
“There were a lot of female combatants who were part of this,” said Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a spokesman. In all, 14 alleged militants were killed and a trove of intelligence was gleaned during the raid, officials said. “We saw during this operation, as it was taking place, that female fighters ran to pre-established positions — as though they had trained to be ready, and trained to be combatants — and engaged with us. Some of these enemy killed in action are, in fact, female.”
U.S. officials acknowledge the women’s presence was out of the ordinary, describing it as an “unusual” move for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. But there appears to be very little that was routine about this troubled counter-terror mission, among the first authorized by President Donald Trump, which ended with one American dead, at least six others injured, a $70 million Marine Corps aircraft destroyed — by an American airstrike — and claims of dozens of civilians killed in the crossfire.
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