A group of four bipartisan senators is demanding a briefing on the U.S. military’s objectives in Yemen, as new details emerge about the death of one Navy SEAL in the wake of the chaotic Jan. 28 raid.
In addition to the SEAL’s death in the raid, four SEALs were wounded and over 23 civilians killed during the mission to gather intelligence on al Qaeda in Yemen.
It was the first military operation ordered by Trump and has received much criticism, especially in light of the president’s recent comments that criticizing the raid dishonors the SEAL who was killed in the mission.
Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have teamed up with Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) to write a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis, Sec. of State Rex Tillerson, and acting Director of National Intelligence Michael Dempsey, that reads: “We write today with serious concerns about U.S. policy in Yemen and to urgently request a classified briefing regarding our actions and objectives there.”
The Hill reports that the four senators have voiced criticisms about U.S. policies toward Yemen, including weapon sales to Saudi Arabia that were used in a military campaign in Yemen that led to an exacerbated humanitarian crisis there. They also expressed concern over rising death toll.
The letter stated:
Events of the last two weeks underscore the complexity and the risks of our involvement in Yemen, and we believe a detailed report to Congress from the Department of Defense, Department of State, and the Intelligence Community about U.S. policy there is necessary.
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 Yemeni foreign minister stated his country is “reassessing” its approval of U.S. ground-based operations since the raid allegedly killed several women and children.
The letter from the senators concluded:
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.
H/T: The Hill
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