They are elite soldiers, capable of carrying out the toughest and most dangerous tasks with speed and precision. From the deserts of the Middle East to urban centers around the world, special forces units have demonstrated that they are the best of the best. However despite their training, situations arise that are beyond their control which can sometimes jeopardize the mission. Here are 10 examples of special forces operations that didn’t go as planned.
10Yemen Hostage Rescue Operations
In 2014, US Navy SEALs attempted a rescue mission to free hostages held in Yemen by Al Qaeda. The Middle Eastern country has been a base of operations for the US military but has since become a hotbed of terrorist activities.
Among the hostages in Yemen was an American journalist named Luke Somers. The British-born Somers was living in Yemen when he was kidnapped in 2013. The SEALs successfully rescued eight hostages and even killed seven terrorists. However, Somers and four other hostages were moved by the group prior to the rescue. Another operation was then planned in order to free him and the others.
Unfortunately, the second attempt failed with Somers and another hostage being badly wounded. Medics tried desperately to save both men but their efforts proved unsuccessful. The other hostage died during the flight back while Somers died shortly after arriving to their destination, an offshore aircraft carrier.
After the operation, the military was criticized for failing to rescue Somers despite successfully rescuing most of the hostages. Adding insult to injury, the other hostage was also in the process of being released prior to the failed rescue mission.