McCain defends Yemen raid | SBS News-NewsCO

February 8, 2017

A senior Republican isn’t budging from his assessment that the US raid in Yemen wasn’t a success after he was criticised by the White House.

Senator John McCain, who has emerged as an outspoken foil to President Trump on national security and foreign policy, says any operation where a $US75 million airplane is lost, a Navy SEAL is killed, and there are multiple casualties, including women and children, “cannot be labeled a success.”

His remarks came after White House spokesman Sean Spicer said anyone who questions the success of the Yemen operation is doing a “disservice” to the life of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens.

The comments come as Yemen’s foreign minister said his country has asked for a “reassessment” of the raid, but denied reports that his government has requested a suspension of American ground operations.

Abdul-Malik al-Mekhlafi said that “Yemen continues to cooperate with the United States and continues to abide by all the agreements.” He added that the government “is involved in talks with the US. administration on the latest raid.”

He said reports that Yemen has demanded a halt to US special operations are “not true.”

The Jan. 28 raid against al-Qaeda militants in central Yemen killed several women and children. A Navy SEAL was also killed in the raid, and six US soldiers were wounded.

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