The US military will no longer provide midair refueling for the Saudi Arabian warfare fighting in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and…
The US military will no longer provide midair refueling for the Saudi Arabian warfare fighting in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Pentagon confirmed Friday.
The change came after increased pressure from Congress to end the United States’s support to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen government in their struggle with rebels known as Houthis, which has lasted almost four years and killed at least 16,200 civilians and brings 14 million people to the verge of starvation.
While the United States is still aligned with Saudi and Emirates and provides support in other ways, the end of midair refueling removes a controversial and tangible measure for supporting the coalition, especially in the light of the international criticism of its targeted civilians.
It also comes as the United States has joined a pressure to end hostilities in Yemen and diplomatic efforts from UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths to get the warring parties to the table for talks in the month end .
The decision was made because the coalition “has increased its ability to independently carry out inflight refueling,” according to the state Saudi Press Agency who said that the United States was consulted first.
Defense Secretary James Mattis welcomed the decision in a statement Friday and added that the United States will turn to the work of the coalition “Building legitimate Yemeni forces to defend the Yemeni people, secure the country’s borders and help counter Al Qaeda and ISIS efforts in Yemen and the region. “
The United States has conducted a fight against terrorism against both terrorist groups, one of the reasons for long supporting the Saudi and Emirate-led coalition. The other main factor is that Houthis is adapted to Iran, which the Trump administration has addressed as anxiety in the region.
“It is the Iranian leadership that continues to burn Houthis in a way that has created this civil war that has caused so much death and destruction inside Yemen,” said Prime Minister Mike Pompeo to BBC Persian Wednesday.
The administration will still provide intelligence and reconnaissance to help Saudi and Emirates, in addition to several arms agreements with both countries.
but the decision to end midair refueling was welcomed by Congress, which has long been calling for this move.
Republican Sen Todd Young in Indiana and Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire released a statement earlier on Friday and urged the administration to do just that and threatened a further congress if the administration had not done it himself.
For some members, the decision was delayed and inadequate. Rope. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., Invited Congress to pass legislation that he has introduced to codify an end to US involvement in the conflict, which he considers to be unlawful because it was never approved by Congress.
“Finally, by ending refueling missions for Saudi bombers, the Trump Administration recognizes our joint operation in Yemen a disaster … Now that it is no longer a secret that the war in Yemen is a national security and humanitarian nightmare, we must go all the way, says Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., in a similar statement.
The question is whether the United States ending support will be associated with increased diplomatic pressure on Saudi and Emirates to end the conflict.
There was doubt about a week that will be the case after fighting throughout Yemen intensified just a few days after Mattis and Pompeo issued joint statements to support a new press for a ceasefire and negotiations. At the same time as the United States behind the coalition seemed to ignore the United States calls for peace, an offensive began to recapture the main port of Hodeida, through which about 80 percent of Yemen food and humanitarian goods enter the country.
This week, Yemeni government forces moved by the Saudi and Emirates forces into the city, although the Houthi rebels took a hospital as a military outpost of coalition forces – a sign of how both sides have behaved in this brutal war , conducted what the United Nations said was war crimes and put civilians in their crosshairs.
Despite the violence, U.N. Still posting all pages around a bargaining table in late November. That goal post seemed weak, with the UN Secretary-General’s vice spokesman, saying that Griffiths hoped to be able to do it by the end of the year.
But a source told ABC News that things are still heading for a meeting in late November, with Griffiths and his team making progress for this purpose.
Griffith’s law denied any delays and told ABC News in a statement “It has not been a” launch. “Our work to revive the political process continues as planned. We are determined to convene the call as soon as possible. [logistical] arrangement completed. “
An American official refused to comment on any timeline, but told ABC News, “Our main goal is a solution to the conflict and we focus our energies in support of the United Nations envoy’s efforts for this purpose. We repeat our talks to end with hostilities and for all parties to come to the table to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. “
A potential snag, help groups warned, reported that the United States is considering appointing Houthi rebels as a terrorist organization. The Washington Post reported Friday that the thought was under consideration by the Trump Administration.
Although the thought has been discussed several times within the US government since the Obama administration, told a separate source for ABC News this is not expected to happen now. It is unclear how far in the long process, if at all, is the idea at present.
Experts warn to make it alienate Houthis and sabotage the peace process – as the administration says it does not want to do. It can also complicate or endanger the work of help groups who must negotiate and work with Houthis to administer services in the territory they control.