USA ends Saudi-UAE mid-air refuelling support in Yemen war

Amid Saudi-led bombing Pompeo pins responsibility for starvation in Yemen… on Iran

Amid Saudi-led bombing Pompeo pins responsibility for starvation in Yemen… on Iran

Members of the Arab Coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen are to no longer use American in-flight refueling, the Saudi Press Agency announced on Saturday.

The move comes at a time of worldwide outrage over the murder of US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and after Democratic and Republican politicians threatened to take action in Congress next week over the refuelling operations.

The United States will stop refueling aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition that is bombing Yemen, the Washington Post reported Friday.

Even as President Donald Trump's administration condemned Khashoggi's murder, the White House has sought to preserve its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

"If the administration does not take immediate steps ... we are prepared to take additional action when the Senate comes back into session", the senators said.

The situation in Yemen deteriorated further in June when the Saudi-led coalition launched an offensive to seize Al Hudaydah, a key port city for delivering humanitarian aid, from the Houthis.

The decision would end a tangible and controversial aspect of USA support for the Saudi coalition's war in Yemen, the Washington Post newspaper said on Friday.

Earlier in the day, Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Todd Young called on President Donald Trump to halt United States refueling of Saudi coalition planes in Yemen until Riyadh makes a good faith effort to end civilian casualties.

He also suggested plans to build up Yemeni troops.

The move is "based on the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the member countries of the Alliance for the Support of Legitimacy in Yemen, to work continuously on developing their military capabilities and enhancing their self-reliance", the statement said.

The decision was made after "a broad assessment of recent developments in Saudi Arabia and the unclear situation in Yemen", according to a statement by the foreign ministry.

Mr Mattis argued that halting U.S. military support could increase civilian casualties, since United States refuelling had given pilots more time to select their targets.

Still, a halt to refueling could by itself have little practical effect on the war.

In recent weeks, Mattis has appeared to voice a growing sense of urgency toward ending the conflict.

United Nations Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths is aiming to convene the country's warring parties for peace talks by the end of the year.

A pro-government military source said that loyalists backed by a Saudi-led coalition made "limited advances" towards the city and its Red Sea port, through which more than 70 percent of the impoverished country's imports pass.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.