[pjw] NEWS: US ends Saudi-UAE midair refuelling support in Yemen war | Al Jazeera 11/10
Peace and Justice Works
pjw at pjw.info
Sun Nov 11 18:26:20 EST 2018
Yesterday at our Quarterly Meeting I commented that the US was still
refueling Saudi airplanes which are targeting Yemeni civilians and food
routes, despite the killing of journalist (and American resident) Jamal
I did not realize that news broke yesterday morning that the US stopped
those refueling operations. This article indicates the Saudis say they can
"handle [refueling] itself," but it's likely the US wanted a way out.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for a cease fire in 30 days on
October 30. It's not clear why that is not mentioned in this article.
These are small steps toward getting the US to stop its part in the war on
Yemen. Much remains to be done, as evidenced by President Trump's
surprisingly calling the bombing of a schoolbus full of kids a "horror
show" but then blaming the Saudis' attack on their not knowing how to use
the US bomb.
We'll talk about these things tomorrow at our Iraq Affinity Group meeting
(7 PM Monday at the PJW office).
It's highly likely Congress could act to end funding of the war, but by
stopping the refueling, Trump is inching toward that goal. Perhaps it is
to take the argument away... but this is still a positive thing.
peace and justice works iraq affinity group
US ends Saudi-UAE midair refuelling support in Yemen war
Saudi Arabia says it requested an end to US refuelling operations in
Yemen because it can now handle it by itself.
10 Nov 2018 07:22 GMT
The Saudi-UAE-led coalition said it has "requested a cessation of
inflight refuelling support" by the United States, bringing a key
element of Washington's involvement in the Yemen conflict to a halt.
In statements carried out by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on
Saturday, Saudi Arabia said the decision to end aerial support for
the coalition was made in consultation with the United States.
"Recently, the kingdom and the coalition has increased its capacity to
independently conduct inflight refueling in Yemen," the SPA said.
"As a result, in consultation with the United States, the coalition has
requested cessation of inflight refuelling support for its operations
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis expressed his country's support for the
Saudi decision and suggested a continuing role for the US in Yemen with
regard to helping coalition forces minimise civilian casualties and
expanding humanitarian efforts.
"The US and the coalition are planning to collaborate on building up
legitimate Yemeni forces to defend the Yemeni people, secure the
country's borders, and contribute to counter al-Qaeda and ISIS (also
known as ISIL) efforts in Yemen and the region," Mattis said.
In August, Mattis warned that US support for the coalition was "not
unconditional," urging it to do "everything humanly possible to avoid
any innocent loss of life."
The implication of the decision is not clear as of yet but the
Associated Press news agency reported that US officials said earlier
that Saudi forces now handled about 80 percent of refuelling
operations, a critical function that allows aircraft to fly longer
Reviving peace talks
The move to halt refuelling support comes amid new US efforts to force
an end to the conflict described as the world's worst humanitarian
The conflict in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country and home
to an estimated 28 million people, began with the Houthis takeover of
Sanaa and toppling of Hadi's government.
Concerned by the rise of the Houthis, the Saudi-led military coalition
launched an intervention in 2015 in the form of a massive air campaign
aimed at reinstalling the deposed administration.
According to the UN, at least 10,000 people have been killed since the
coalition entered the conflict. The death toll has not been updated in
years, however, and is likely to be far higher.
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, an independent
watchdog, recently said as many as 56,000 Yemenis had been killed since
the war began.
The Saudi statement on Saturday said the kingdom hoped the upcoming
UN-sponsored talks "in a third country" - which have since been delayed
till the end of the year - would help end the war.
UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths has said he is in
consultations with Yemen's warring parties to finalise details for a
new round of peace talks.
However, Griffiths' effort to revive peace talks in September fell
through after the Houthis failed to attend, arguing they didn't have
guarantees for their safe return.
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