William “Ryan” Owens died from wounds suffered during a raid against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula of Yemen on Sunday morning. Three other American service members were hurt during the raid.
Owens was 36 years old and was from Peoria, Illinois. He went through SEAL training in Coronado, California, and was stationed here from 2003 to 2007. Owens was most recently based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
“Ryan was an exceptional SEAL – an experienced warrior and a highly respected teammate who served silently, nobly and bravely through several combat deployments. His family has sacrificed much for his service. Our thoughts and prayers are with them," said Rear Admiral Tim Szymanski, Commander Naval Special Warfare Command in Coronado. "Ryan’s legacy strengthens our own resolve and commitment to this crucial fight.”
Fourteen Al-Qaeda members were killed during the raid, which was carried out by SEAL Team 6, CBS News reported. Others were killed as well, including the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, according to CBS News.
President Donald Trump released a statement about the raid:
“Americans are saddened this morning with news that a life of a heroic service member has been taken in our fight against the evil of radical Islamic terrorism. 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. 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.”
A U.S. aircraft being used in the operation made a hard landing during the operation, according to the Department of Defense. The aircraft was then intentionally destroyed.