"We did cause casualties, somewhere between four and 12 casualties that I accept responsibility for," Votel told the US Senate Armed Services Committee.
On January 29, the administration of President Donald Trump ordered its first military raid against the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terror group in Yemen, which is banned in Russia.
During the operation, US special operations forces killed 14 militants. However, the raid also resulted in death of US Navy Seal William Owens and an aircraft crash-landing. Right after the operation, media reported that as many as 20 civilians may have been killed.
"I am responsible for this mission… We lost a lot on this operation," Votel stated. "I made the determination that there was no need for an additional investigation into this particular operation."
The US Department of Defense opened three probes into the Yemen raid: a 15-6 death investigation, an aircraft mishap probe and a civilian casualty assessment.
Votel said only the aircraft incident probe is ongoing.