The Pentagon says it launched a mission in Yemen last month to snatch hostages from al-Qaida-affiliated captors, but that they failed to rescue British-born American Luke Somers among others because they “were not present at the targeted location.”
In a written statement released today, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the operation involved ground and air components and was conducted in cooperation with the Yemeni military. It said details of the operation remain classified.
“We are only acknowledging the fact of the operation now to provide accurate information given that it is being widely reported in the public domain,” Kirby said in the statement.
Earlier today, we reported on the emergence of a video purportedly showing Somers, a 33-year-old journalist who was allegedly kidnapped last year in Sanaa. In it, a member of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, warns the U.S. to end drone strikes in Yemen and airstrikes elsewhere in the Muslim world within three days or “the American hostage will meet his inevitable fate.”
According to The Associated Press, “a Yemeni official said an American journalist and a Briton were moved before the raid.”