The New York Times reported late Tuesday that following a botched United States special forces mission in Yemen last month, Yemeni officials "withdrew permission" for U.S. forces to operate in their country — but a top Yemeni official disputes the Times' reporting.
The raid, which resulted in the deaths of civilians including children, was the first military operation of President Donald Trump's tenure as commander in chief and was carried out by an advanced Navy SEAL team. It also resulted in the death of Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens, the first in-action combat death under Trump's command.
U.S. officials said last week the purpose of the operation was to collect intelligence on terrorists with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula while also targeting AQAP leader Qassim al-Rimi. However, the SEALs were unable to hit their target and al-Rimi has since mocked Trump over the raid.
In addition to the Times report, CNN reported Wednesday that Yemen has given the "red light" on future U.S. ground mission in Yemen for the immediate future, citing two "senior Yemeni defense officials."
"That's what happens when a mission goes wrong," one official reportedly told CNN. "From the intelligence we have, conducting a raid was the wrong option and failure was written all over it. The only side that gained is al Qaeda."
However, a report from the Associated Press published early Wednesday disputes the reporting of both the Times and CNN. The AP, citing comments from Yemen's Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdul-Malik al-Mekhlafi, reports that Yemen has not barred U.S. ground forces from operating in Yemen.
Al-Mekhlafi told the AP that "Yemen continues to cooperate with the United States and continues to abide by all the agreements," while adding that his government "is involved in talks with the U.S. administration on the latest raid."
Al-Mekhlafi also disputed the Times' reporting, which was the first outlet to report the alleged news, saying definitively that it is "not true."
However, Al-Mekhlafi did tell the AP that his government has asked for a "reassessment" of U.S. operations in Yemen.
Still, neither the Pentagon nor Yemen's government has made an official statement announcing the alleged halt of U.S. ground operations in Yemen.