Tags: Al-Qaida | Barack Obama | War on Terrorism | yemen | hostage | rescue | failure

White House: No Regrets for Failed Rescue Operation in Yemen

By    |   Monday, 08 Dec 2014 07:04 PM

President Barack Obama does not regret giving the go-ahead for a mission to rescue two hostages, one of whom was an American, early Saturday that resulted in 13 deaths — including both captives.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday the president stands by his decision despite the losses of life in Yemen, reports The Hill.

Obama "does not at all regret" the mission, Earnest said.

"There was a very limited window for action," Earnest said. "And that is a testament, more than anything else, I think, to the bravery and skill of our men and women in uniform, who, like I said, for the second time in just a few weeks here, put their lives on the line in a very dangerous country in a very dangerous mission to try to secure the safe rescue of Mr. Somers."

Luke Somers, a 33-year-old American journalist, and 56-year-old Pierre Korkie, a South African teacher, were being held by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants. The terror group said last week it would kill Somers by Saturday if certain demands were not met.

United States special forces launched an operation to free him 10 days earlier but the hostages had already been moved. The U.S. then discovered the new location and a rescue operation was quickly planned.

During the midnight raid, however, the Americans' presence was detected and a firefight ensued. The two hostages were killed by their captors in one building while U.S. forces engaged in a gun battle at another building.

Earnest said despite the botched raid, the mission was "a clear sign of this president's resolve to do everything possible to rescue Americans who are being held hostage anywhere around the globe."

"Militants or extremist organizations that decide to take the risk of taking an American hostage are put on notice today," Earnest said.

Washington sees AQAP, which formed in 2006 after the Yemeni and Saudi branches of al-Qaida merged, as one of the terror group's most dangerous facets.

A local al-Qaida leader was killed in the raid, along with eight militants. A woman and a 10-year-old boy also died.

After Saturday's raid, it was discovered that Korkie's family had raised enough money to pay a ransom for his life. He was slated to be released on Sunday.

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President Barack Obama does not regret giving the go-ahead for a mission to rescue two hostages, one of whom was an American, early Saturday that resulted in 13 deaths — including both captives.
yemen, hostage, rescue, failure
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2014-04-08
Monday, 08 Dec 2014 07:04 PM
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