Kayla Mueller (pictured below) was an American aid worker who traveled to the Turkey/Syria border to work with the organization Support to Life which assisted families forced to flee their homes. Kayla was taken hostage by ISIS in Aleppo, Syria, in 2013; brutalized and confirmed murdered in 2015. Her body has never been recovered.
Earlier today, following the announcement of the military operation that successfully killed the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, President Donald Trump made calls to families of U.S. victims. The operation to kill/capture al-Baghdadi was named for Kayla:
(Via NBC) The Muellers received the official confirmation of Baghdadi’s death in listening to Trump’s news conference Sunday morning. They praised and thanked the President, the US military and special forces for taking action.
“We were deeply touched by what he said. We were grateful that they didn’t mess around and went right in,” Marsha Mueller said in a phone interview.
White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said the US military operation that resulted in the death of Baghdadi was named after Kayla Mueller.
In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, O’Brien said, “The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff named the operation that took down al-Baghdadi after Kayla Mueller, after what she had suffered,” adding “that was something that people should know.” (link)
On Sunday, the Muellers praised President Donald Trump and the soldiers who pulled off the mission.
ARIZONA – […] “We are so grateful for them … we are so grateful,” Marsha Mueller said. They were glad there was no loss of life on our side. They are grateful their daughter and the others who were tortured and killed by ISIS have not been forgotten.
“I still say Kayla should be here, and if Obama had been as decisive as President Trump, maybe she would have been,” Marsha Mueller said.
“For me what matters most I’m hoping now we will finally get the answers we have been asking for all along,” Marsha Mueller said. “I think this administration truly might help us. I don’t think they are as closed about what happened.”
Carl Mueller said he was comforted when Trump mentioned his daughter twice in his morning press conference. “He knows her story. He’s been briefed on it, and he knows, and that’s important to me,” Carl Mueller said. “I don’t think anything would have stopped him from getting this guy.”
After Kayla’s death, the Muellers became outspoken critics of the American government’s handling of its foreign hostages. They had been encouraged to keep her captivity secret, and discouraged from attempting to free her or pay a ransom.