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The top US commander for the Middle East claimed responsibility Thursday for the deaths of a US Navy SEAL and several civilians during a raid in Yemen in January.

"I am responsible for this mission. I accept the responsibility for this. We lost a lot on this operation," Commander of the US Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He called deceased Chief Petty Officer William Owens a "valued operation" and acknowledged that "We had people wounded. We cause civilian causalities, lost an expensive aircraft."

However, Votel added that the conduct of those involved in the operation had no signs of "incompetence, poor decision making or bad judgment."

Despite the incident, President Donald Trump has called the operation a success due to the information that was obtained on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

In addition to Owen's death, the raid left three other SEALs injured and 12 civilians dead, including the eight year old daughter of Anwar Al Awlaki.


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