Yemen Pulls US Special Ops Permissions After Raid

Alicia WestFeb 09, 2017

Military and intelligence officials told NBC that the January 29 raid in Yemen was aimed at taking out Qassim al-Rimi, an al Qaeda recruiter and one of the most sought after terrorists in the world.

The AQAP leader also condemned the recent USA raid in northern Yemen's Bayda province, saying it exposed America's "ugly face" and adding that the defense mounted by jihadis "slapped" the "new fool of the White House" President Donald Trump.

Washington views Yemen's al-Qaeda members as the global network's most unsafe branch. However, the SEALs were unable to hit their target and al-Rimi has since mocked Trump over the raid.

"The goal of the raid was intelligence gathering, and that's what we received and that's what we got", White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday. Although neither Yemen nor the United States officially announced the withdrawal of approval, it was reported by The New York Times Tuesday, citing USA military officials.

Beyond the death of this leader, the raid could discredit Mr. Hadi's government to the benefit of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, also known as AQAP.

Despite the heavy loss of life, the White House has insisted that the raid was "highly successful".

Only a few more days passed before US military officials revealed that everything went wrong in the ground operation.


Later Wednesday, McCain responded to Spicer's latest comments, sharing an anecdote about his time in captivity with NBC News.

"I think anyone who would suggest that it is not does a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens", Spicer said.

As a result of the botched operation, a Navy SEAL was killed, three Americans were wounded and civilians were also reportedly killed. The operation - prepared for months under President Obama, but given the final approval under President Trump - killed dozens of civilians, including an 8-year-old girl. Instead, he said that though he would not call the mission a success, many of its objectives were met. Similarly, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, Yemen's ambassador to the United States, said that President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi on February 2, expressed his worries about the raid in a meeting with the American ambassador.

-The government of Yemen has requested that United States forces not conduct ground operations in the country without its approval. The first was the 2014 special forces raid to save two hostages, one a USA national, from an Al-Qaeda base. He wished those injured in the attack a full recovery, according to CNN.

"From the intelligence we have, conducting a raid was the wrong option and failure was written all over it".

Acting State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said that the United States is aware of the Times report and also that the Yemeni foreign minister has denied it.

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