According to a shocking report in The Independent, military officials were able to manipulate Trump into agreeing on staging the Yemen raid by simply stating that former President Barack Obama would not have had the courage to proceed.
The raid, launched Jan. 29, resulted in the death of 30 civilians, one an 8-year-old American child, as well as one U.S. Navy SEAL. It also completely failed to kill the target, Qassim al Rimi, a Yemeni al-Qaeda leader. According to reports by The New York Times, President Obama nixed the planned raid until it could be held during a moonless night, one which would not occur until after he left office.
The raid on a small village in the Yemeni province of Bayda had been planned for several months before the Trump inauguration, but turned out to be Trump’s first official act as U.S. Commander-in-Chief.
Although the White House labeled the raid a success, according to the Independent, it is still unknown if al Rimi escaped or if he was even at the site. However, al Rimi released a video afterward, mocking Trump and calling him a fool.
The Independent and NBC News state that Trump pick, Sec. of Defense Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford of the Joint Chiefs of Staff convinced the former reality TV star to approve the raid by telling him that Obama would never have been bold enough to go through with it. According to a senior White House official, they told Trump that killing al Rimi would be a “game changer” in the fight against al Qaeda.
A senior White House official told NBC that the potential that they might catch al Rimi by launching the raid was the decision maker:
“Al-Rimi had been at the target in the past. The possibility of any capture drove the highest level deliberations.”
But one Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, denied that al Rimi was the target, saying the military had no plan or intention of capturing the al Qaeda leader. So did Col. John Thomas, spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for Middle East operations.
“There was no discussion of al-Rimi potentially being at that objective. We didn’t expect to see him there. We didn’t plan for him to be there, and this was not a raid that had anything to do with targeting that individual.”
According to a senior U.S. intelligence officials, the entire operation was a disaster, telling NBC News that occupants of the targeted location were alerted prior to the raid and the ground force came under fire.
Afterward, al Rimi, who is currently on the U.S.’s most-wanted terrorist list since 2015, released an audio recording taunting Trump:
“The fool of the White House got slapped at the beginning of his road in your lands.”
Trump has been known to lash out in a most unpresidential way when mocked or criticized, and it’s nothing less than disconcerting to know that he can also be so easily manipulated to act through flattery and praise.
The video below from NBC provides details about the botch Yemen raid authorized by Donald Trump.
What Went Wrong in Yemen: New Details On Deadly Raid That Left Navy SEAL Dead
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