Votel Takes Responsibility for Yemen Raid

US Central Command boss Army Gen. Joseph Votel on Thursday took full responsibility for the Jan. 29 raid on al-Qaeda forces in Yemen that resulted in the death of Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens. “I am responsible for this mission,” Votel told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He added, “We lost a lot on this operation. We lost a valued operator, we had wounded people, we caused civilian casualties, and lost an expensive aircraft.” He said the Department of Defense had determined the civilian casualties numbered between four and 12. “We did gain some valuable information that will be helpful for us,” he said. All of the post-action investigations have been completed, he said, except for the aircraft safety investigation. He said he is “satisfied” that neither “information gaps” nor “incompetence” played a role in the outcome of the raid. Votel also said that he sees “no need for an additional investigation.”