Yemen Halts US Spec Ops Raids After JSOC Raid Kills Dozens

Yemen, (TFC)— Yemen’s government isn’t sitting idly after Trump’s first special operations raid killed dozens of civilians. Instead, despite White House spokespeople demanding media frame the raid as a success, Yemeni officials are calling for further investigations. Hefty restrictions to US ground operations in Yemen have also been instituted by officials.

Yemen’s government, Post Gazette reports, is understandably reluctant to lash out too much. With an ongoing, bloody war increasingly embroiling the country, international counter-terrorism operations are valuable. However, these operations prove counter-productive when civilians, especially young children, are slaughtered.

Yemen’s government stopped short of attempting to halt all operations. Although officials were able to deter further night raids, not all operations were frozen. According to New York Mag, the measure won’t do two things: Slow the pace of drone strikes, and pull remaining “advisors” from the ground.

The operations exact purpose is also very much up in the air. Trump Administration officials have aggressively insisted the raid was a success, capturing valuable intelligence. Said information was allegedly extracted in the form of computers and phones.

Officials also insisted JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) operatives were hunting a top al-Qaeda militant. Whereas Yemeni officials say commandos raided a poor village, and al-Qaeda has issued taunting messages on social media.

According to New York Mag, Qassim al-Rimi–leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula–claimed he was the raid’s target. This wouldn’t mark the first time poor Yemeni villagers were hit by American ordnance. This also wouldn’t be the first time a night raid, drone strike, or similar action missed high-value targets.

In any case, several relatives of a deceased Islamic cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, were killed. One of those, hauntingly enough, was al-Awlaki’s 8-year-old daughter. This marks al-Awlaki’s second child, the first killed via drone strike in 2011, to be targeted.

Brother-in-laws of al-Awlaki’s, possibly with al-Qaeda ties, were also killed during the operation. Others related to the cleric have also been killed since al-Awlaki became to first American extrajudicial assassination victim.

Donald Trump’s campaign promised supporters the blood of alleged militants and their family members. Many observers, especially during the primary, didn’t take the claim seriously as it’s a war crime. Well, it’s now our reality. Targeting the clerics survivors, including his son and daughters, perhaps spells crimson premonitions for the future.

Additionally, the more Yemen’s security deteriorates, the more difficult it’ll be to determine what’s happening. That’s now the case in Syria, where few journalists remain to relay information.

Whereas international organizations aren’t allowed in government areas, militant zones are the wild west. A cryptic array of US special operations forces, CIA operatives, and other clandestine entries own the countryside. Their tracks, although occasionally noticed and documented, are largely hidden by the rebels they train.

That was President Obama’s pace, but a government under Trump is another story. Will the new administration heed the words of its predecessor, and not send more troops to these countries? Or will Yemen become the next in the region to dissolve into war, disease, famine, and misery?

2015 Airstrike in Yemen – By Ibrahem Qasim – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Yemen is ravaged by US-supplied bombing campaigns, targeting civilian infrastructure, schools, and religious sites. Just this week, Reuters reports, the UN announced that Yemen could sink in famine if funds aren’t immediately generated.

Assaults against rebel forces by Saudi Arabia are supported by Trump’s cabinet. Officials, such as secretary of state-pick– and Exxon CEO– Rex Tillerson even suggested providing Saudis with better targeting capabilities and intelligence.

Massive weapons shipments to the country by Trump’s administration have already been reported. A recent airstrike on a Yemeni funeral killed over 140 people, wounded more than 500, and turned the area into a “lake of blood”. Although The Intercept reports this, and sources New York Times, the latter has removed their coverage. If things continue in this direction, thick coagulated oceans will flow as Trump’s government uses nationalism to minimize the hell.