US commander takes full responsibility for Yemen raid

Indo Asian News Service

Washington, March 10 (IANS) A top US commander for the Middle East accepted full responsibility for a controversial January raid in Yemen that resulted in the death of a navy serviceman and civilians, the media reported.

"I am responsible for this mission," General Joseph Votel, commander of US Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

"I accept the responsibility for this. We lost a lot on this operation," CNN reported citing Votel as saying.

"We lost a valued operator" he continued, referring to the death of Chief Petty Officer William Owens.

In addition to Owens' death, the raid last month left three servicemen injured; killed between four to 12 civilians, including an eight-year-old daughter of dead Al Qaeda preacher Anwar al-Awlaki; and resulted in the destruction of a MV-22 Osprey aircraft.

Trump touted the importance of the raid in his joint address to Congress in February, with White House spokesman Sean Spicer telling reporters at the time that the mission "gathered an unbelievable amount of intelligence that will prevent the potential deaths or attacks on American soil."

But lawmakers have fiercely contested that characterisation and pressed for more answers about what it accomplished.

Owens' father has called for an investigation.