Yemen’s foreign minister said Wednesday his government has asked for a “reassessment” of a U.S. anti-terrorism raid last month that apparently caused the deaths of several women and children, but he denied reports that the government requested a suspension of American ground operations.
“Yemen continues to cooperate with the United States and continues to abide by all the agreements,” Abdul-Malik al-Mekhlafi said, according to the Associated Press. He said the government “is involved in talks with the U.S. administration on the latest raid.”
His remarks followed news reports that Yemen’s government had demanded a halt to U.S. special operations. He said the reports are “not true,” according to the AP.
Yemen’s government controls only part of the country, which has been divided by civil war. A Saudi-led coalition is fighting Houthi rebels, which are supported by Iran. The chaos has allowed al-Qaeda to grow in strength.
The Jan. 28 raid against al-Qaeda militants in central Yemen resulted in the death of Navy SEAL, William “Ryan” Owens and wounding of six servicemen. A U.S. aircraft was destroyed so that it wouldn’t fall into the hands of militants after it became disabled during the raid.
The Pentagon said the raid resulted in the capture of a trove of intelligence and the deaths of 14 al-Qaeda fighters.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that American officials said Yemen, angered by the civilian deaths, has withdrawn permission for U.S. special operations ground missions against suspected terrorists there.
It said there needs to be more coordination with Yemeni authorities in advance of any future operations.
CNN reported Wednesday that Yemen’s government had requested the U.S. stop such operations unless it has the Yemeni government’s full approval.
The incident, in the al-Bayda area in central Yemen, was the first such counter-terror raid authorized by President Trump.