Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) demand a briefing on the controversial raid in Yemen that left one Navy SEAL dead, civilians including nine children under the age of 13 were killed and five were wounded in the raid in al Bayda province on January 29. The operation also wounded three Americans and resulted in the loss of a $75 million helicopter.
The raid was the first military operation ordered by President Trump who was not present during the Situation Room because he was too tired for “civil conversation.”
All four leaders have been critical of U.S. policy in Yemen, particularly U.S. support of the Saudi Arabia-led campaign in the civil war.
Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson penned acting Director of National Intelligence Michael Dempsey regarding “serious concerns about U.S. policy in Yemen and to urgently request a classified briefing regarding our actions and objectives there.”
“Our counterterrorism mission against AQAP must remain a top priority, which is why reports that the Yemeni foreign minister has called for a ‘reassessment’ of U.S. counterterrorism operations following the recent raid are troubling,” the senators penned. “We therefore respectfully request a briefing for members of the United States Senate on the status of U.S. counterterrorism operations in Yemen, our ongoing involvement in the Yemeni civil war, our support for U.S. allies operating in Yemen and overall U.S. objectives there.”
As a result, the Yemeni foreign minister said his country is “reassessing” its approval of U.S. ground operations in the country.