The government of Yemen has withdrawn permission for the U.S. to launch Special Operations ground missions inside the country. The rebuke comes after a raid against an al Qaeda compound in Yemen’s al Bayda province. At least 30 people were killed, including civilians and American Navy SEAL Ryan Owens also died.
It was the first commando raid approved by President Trump.
This is a major setback for a planned military campaign against the branch of al Qaeda officials consider to be one most likely to launch terrorist attacks against the U.S., reports CBS News correspondent David Martin.
Pictures from the aftermath bore signs of an operation gone wrong. Fourteen al Qaeda operatives were killed in the January 29 raid, but also at least 15 civilians.
The Yemeni government is outraged about the civilian casualties.
Under the cover of night, SEAL Team 6 advanced towards an al Qaeda compound.But they became pinned down and were forced to call in an air strike, killing bothmilitants and civilians inside.
The team then raided the hideout, collecting hard drives, laptops, and cell phones.But Chief Petty Officer Ryan Owens was killed, and a $72 million medevac aircraft crash-landed and had to be destroyed.
Critics including Republican Sen. John McCain have said any operation that results in the loss of American life cannot be considered a success, although the White House calls it exactly that.
“It was highly successful. It achieved the purpose it was going to get, saved the loss of life that we suffered and the injuries that occurred,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.
The purpose of the raid was to gather intelligence to be used in future operations against al Qaeda in Yemen, but now that Yemen has withdrawn its permission, the future of those raids appear in doubt, and the first military operation approved by President Trump appears to have backfired.
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