Yemen Orders ‘Reassessment’ of Fatal U.S. Raid

Foreign minister rejects that Sana’a suspended ground operations

A Yemeni man walks past cars destroyed in fighting with al Qaeda militants in Yemen / AP
• February 8, 2017 11:25 am


Yemen’s foreign minister has ordered a "reassessment" of the American raid that killed several civilians and a Navy SEAL last month, rejecting reports that the country had suspended U.S. ground operations.

"Yemen continues to cooperate with the United States and continues to abide by all the agreements," Abdul-Malik al-Mekhlafi told the Associated Press on Wednesday, adding that Sana’a "is involved in talks with the U.S. administration on the latest raid."

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Yemen had withdrawn permission for the U.S. to direct Special Operations ground missions targeting suspected terrorist in the country. Al-Mekhlafi called the report "not true."

The Jan. 29 raid on an al-Qaeda compound in Yemen killed an estimated 30 people, including six U.S. soldiers and some 14 militants. Among those killed was the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born al Qaeda militant who was killed by a U.S. airstrike in Yemen in 2011.

U.S. Chief Petty Officer William Owens, a member of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, was also killed in the hour-long operation.

The Trump administration touted the operation as a "success" despite its failure to take out its key target, Qassim al-Rimi, the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain rejected White House claims that the operation was successful.

"While many of the objectives of the recent raid in Yemen were met, I would not describe any operation that results in the loss of American life as a success," McCain (R., Ariz.) said in a statement.

Published under: Al Qaeda, Trump Administration, Yemen