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Washington Planning to Strengthen Ties with Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Men walk amid the rubble of a house on the outskirts of Sana’a, Yemen, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

London- The White House has said that the United States will continue to work with Yemen to strengthen diplomatic ties between the two countries.

“We’re going to continue to work with them to strengthen our diplomatic relationships,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in a press briefing on Thursday.

The announcement was made amid conflicting reports on Yemen’s decision to withdraw permission for the U.S. to run special operations ground missions against suspected terrorist groups in the country.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Yemen withdrew permission because it was angry at the civilian casualties incurred last month in the first commando raid authorized by President Donald Trump.

Yemeni officials told Reuters that Sana’a had not withdrawn its permission for the U.S. to carry out special operations ground missions but had made clear their “reservations” about the last operation.

According to the New York Times, Trump’s approval of the Jan. 29 raid came over a dinner four nights earlier with his top national security aides, rather than in the kind of rigorous review in the Situation Room that became fairly routine under President George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Spicer described the operation as “highly successful.”