CAIRO (Reuters) - The leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch said in a recorded speech released on Friday that the U.S. raid carried out last week had failed and was a blow to President Donald Trump.
Qassim al-Raymi, who became leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in 2015, said that two U.S. helicopters had been downed in the incident and tens of U.S soldiers were injured.
“The fool of the White House has received a painful blow at the beginning of his journey through your hands,” al-Raymi said, addressing the people of Yemen.
The raid on al Qaeda in southern Yemen that took place last week was the first such operation authorized by President Trump as commander-in-chief.
U.S. Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens was killed in the raid, which the Pentagon said also killed 14 militants. Medics at the scene said about 30 people, including 10 women and children, also died.
Al-Raymi said that 14 men had been killed 11 women and children were killed in the raid.
Reporting by Omar Fahmy and Mohammed Ghobari, writing by Maha El Dahan, editing by Louise Heavens