Yemen doesn't want America to conduct ground operations after Trump's raid debacle

Miranda GreerFeb 11, 2017

Three other Americans were wounded, and a USA aircraft was lost.

Last week's messy operation was the first major military action authorized by Trump, a decision made just days after he took office.

Spicer previously said that any military mission that results in the loss of an American life is hard to be called a success. "I think any suggestion otherwise is a disservice to his courageous life and the actions that he took".

The Arizona Republican told NBC News earlier that he did not believe the raid could be called a success because a $75-million plane was destroyed and the commando was killed.

Navy Seal Team Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens, 36, was killed and three other U.S. troops were wounded in a fierce gunfight. John McCain, chair of the Armed Services Committee, who called the recent USA raid in Yemen a "failure" following a classified briefing Tuesday morning.

In a statement following those comments, McCain modified his language.

'Many years ago when I was imprisoned in North Vietnam there was an attempt to rescue the POWs, ' McCain told Politico. Because the mission failed did not in any way diminish their courage and willingness to help their fellow Americans who were held captive.

"It is tough to ever use the word success when you know that someone has lost their life", Spicer said on February 2. Meanwhile, the administration has revealed few details about the crucial intelligence it says was gathered during the operation. The U.S. military had also released footage it said was retrieved in the raid as a sign of its success, but experts of militant Islamist groups said the video was a decade old, forcing them to promptly withdraw it.

On Sunday, al-Rimi - who landed on the US most-wanted terrorist list after taking over al Qaeda's Yemen affiliate in 2015 - released an audio recording that military sources said is authentic.

Yemen is among the seven Muslim-majority nations targeted by Trump's immigration and travel bans, which are now blocked in federal court.

Seizing the capital Sanaa, the Houthis drove out the internationally recognized government in 2015 and now control most population centres in the largely desert and mountainous country at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

The deaths of several women and children in the operation has sparked outrage in Yemen. Al-awaki's 16-year-old son was killed in a separate raid in 2011. A half-dozen Yemeni soldiers and a dozen commandos from the United Arabs Emirates who had developed the intelligence leading to the target were also involved, and a Marine Corps Quick Reaction Force was waiting off shore, multiple officials say.

Such commando actions risk bolstering al Qaeda's "narrative of the need to violently oppose what they claim is a us war against Muslims", she warned.

But the raid led Yemen's government to ban the United States from conducting special operations missions within its borders. He added, however, that the Yemeni government "is involved in talks with the USA administration on the latest raid".

But White House spokesman Sean Spicer defended the operation on Wednesday, calling it "absolutely a success".

"We needed to know what happened", he said.

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