KICKED OUT

Yemen Withdraws Permissions for U.S. Ground Operations

Yemen will no longer allow U.S. ground troops into the country on special-operations counterterror missions, The New York Times reports. The decision follows a Jan. 29 raid by U.S. troops in which multiple Yemeni civilians were killed. It is unclear whether President Trump’s ban on Yemeni immigrants played into the country’s decision to withdraw the permissions. The raid, which reportedly killed a Navy SEAL, 14 members of al Qaeda, and a number of civilians, including an 8-year-old girl reported to be a U.S. citizen, has been described as a failure by some in the military community, including John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Military officials have told reporters that President Trump ordered the raid with insufficient intelligence or preparation. These sources said the raid’s target was Qasim al-Raymi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Raymi was not killed or captured during the raid, during which al Qaeda militants were reportedly tipped off to U.S. troops’ presence, leading to a firefight that lasted approximately 50 minutes and killed multiple civilians, including children. The White House has pushed back on characterization of the raid as a failure, with White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday calling the mission “highly successful.” The White House has yet to confirm the decision or whether Trump will pursue further U.S. intervention in Yemen.