By Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept
In late January 2017, just weeks after Donald Trump was sworn in as commander-in-chief, U.S. troops carried out a raid in the southwestern Yemeni village of al-Ghayil that marked the start of his presidency with bloodshed. The raid, led by dozens of U.S. special forces troops backed by helicopters, allegedly intended to hit Al Qaeda operatives believed to be living in the village. Trump said the raid was “highly successful,” but in reality it ended in bloody calamity.
U.S. forces descended on the village, leveling mud houses with explosives and filling the small alleyways of al-Ghayil with gunfire. By the time the shooting was over, dozens of Yemeni civilians had been killed, along with one U.S. servicemember. The dead included many children. An 8-year old girl, Nawar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni-American citizen, was among them. Nawar was the daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who later took up arms with a local Al Qaeda affiliate before being killed, along with his 15-year-old son, Abdulrahman, Nawar’s half-brother, in drone strikes carried out by the Obama administration.