A raid carried out in Yemen by the United States military on Sunday has reportedly killed 30 innocent people, including children. All of these lives were lost so that Donald Trump could kill 13 al-Qaeda militants and add some notches to his belt.
The Pentagon said nothing about the deaths of these civilians except that they couldn’t rule out the possibility that some innocent lives may have possibly been lost. But according to Reuters and Agence France-Presse, who had spoken to local medics and officials in Yemen, a minimum of 30 civilians had been killed in the raid, 10 of whom were children.
One of the children killed on Sunday was Nawar “Nora” al-Awlaki, the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen and al-Qaeda spokesman.
Al Jazeera reports:
Her grandfather Nasser al-Awlaki, a former minister of agriculture said: “she was hit with a bullet in her neck and suffered for two hours”.
“Why kill children? This is the new [US] administration – it’s very sad, a big crime,” he told the Reuters news agency.
Fahd, a local resident who asked that only his first name be used, told Reuters that several bodies remained under debris and that houses and a local mosque were damaged.
It is important to point out here that civilian casualties have become far too common in recent years, long before Donald Trump conned his way into the White House. In fact, Anwar al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son Abdulraman al-Awlaki died under the Obama administration in the same airstrikes that killed his father. Estimates on the percentage of innocent lives lost in raids such as this range anywhere from nine to 20 percent.
However, there is one important difference between Trump and the Obama administration that cannot be ignored when it comes to this particular issue. Obama at least cared if innocent people were killed and tried to limit civilian casualties. Trump, on the other hand, has said that we should be targeting civilians and killing innocent people on purpose to get our point across.
“The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families,” Trump told Fox and Friends during an interview in 2015.
Trump has not yet begun to actively target civilians, but the line between this and just not giving a damn if innocent lives are lost “accidentally” is very, very thin.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images