Six special operations airmen have each received the Distinguished Flying Cross for their bravery during a doomed special operations forces raid in Yemen in 2017.

On Tuesday, the airmen from the 67th Special Operations Squadron received their awards at Hurlburt Field, Florida, according to Air Force Special Operations Command.

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U.S. Central Command photo by Marine Corps Sgt. Alan Belser

Depending who you ask, the first military operation authorized by President Donald Trump — a daring ground raid in Yemen that cost the lives of a Navy SEAL and a disputed number of civilians — was either a tragic failure or a laudable success. While the White House has held firmly to the latter assessment, Trump insists that it was his generals, not him, who were ultimately responsible for what transpired in the village of al Ghayil on a moonless night in late January. Now, one of those generals has stepped up to own it.  

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Screenshot from Fox & Friends interview.

On January 28th, only a week after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, a small team of Navy SEALs raided a high value target located in Yemen. The mission was costly to both sides, with Chief Petty Officer William Owens killed in action, in addition to three more SEALs wounded in the fight. Fourteen militants were killed on the raid, along with reports of dozens of civilian non-combatants being killed during the course of the mission.

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White House Spokesman Sean Spicer introduced a curious new logic into the analysis of American military action in his most recent press conference. If a service member is killed in action, Spicer appears to believe it ceases to be legitimate for anyone to question the value or success of that action.

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Image by CENTCOM

On Feb. 3, U.S. Central Command removed footage that it supposedly secured from its high-profile raid in Yemen on Jan. 29. The video was online from only 11:23 a.m. to 1:21 p.m., an employee at the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System told Task & Purpose. Buzzfeed alleged that the video was titled “Courses for Destroying The Cross,” and that it has been circulating since 2007.

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