Yemen May Bar US Ground Operations After Deadly Strike
Following a deadly, and some say bungled, U.S. raid targeting al-Qaida in Yemen which killed several civilians, the Yemeni government has withdrawn permission for the U.S. to carry out ground missions in its territory, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The Jan. 29 commando raid in question against al-Qaida forces was approved by President Donald Trump and resulted in a firefight which killed several women and children in Yemen’s southeastern al-Bayda province. U.S. Navy Seal William “Ryan” Owens was also killed and a U.S. aircraft destroyed.
Trump reportedly approved the strike over dinner with a group of his national security aides and has brought many to question his judgment. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that the mission was “highly successful,” despite U.S. Central Command saying that an investigating team “concluded regrettably that civilian non-combatants were likely killed.”
The Times said that permission for the ground raids was suspended, according to “American officials.” However, CNN, citing Yemeni defense officials, reported that Yemen had requested a stop to raids unless they received full approval from Yemen.
“We have not withdrawn our permission for the United States to carry out special operations ground missions. However, we made clear our reservations about the last operation,” a Yemeni said, according to Reuters.
“We said that in the future there needs to be more coordination with Yemeni authorities before any operation and that there needs to be consideration for our sovereignty,” he continued.
With Yemen’s skepticism over U.S. ground raids, Trump may have to reconsider how he plans to carry out his inauguration goal to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the earth.”
Yemen has supported the U.S. backed anti-terror mission against al-Qaida, which saw dozens of civilians killed from unmanned drone attacks under former President Barack Obama.