Pentagon officials confirmed Monday that the Navy SEAL who died during a raid in Yemen on Saturday was from Peoria.
The Journal Star reports that Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, 36, died while assigned to an East Coast-based Special Warfare unit. However, the Journal Star report states that several media outlets stated that Owens was assigned to “SEAL Team 6, a highly classified and elite counter-terrorism unit.”
Three other military members were injured in the raid.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in a statement, said Owens “gave his full measure for our nation, and in performing his duty, he upheld the noblest standard of military service.”
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“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,” Mattis’ statement read.
The Journal Star cited the Stars and Strups as well as The Associated Press stated that the raid was in a remote area in Yemen’s Shabwa region. The mission of the raid was to gather information on the terrorist group al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Navy SEAL’s death is the first military causality since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, according to the Associated Press.
“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,” Trump said in a White House release. “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.”