Will America get into the Yemeni crisis?
US ends support for air strikes in Yemen
The Saudi Arabia-led military coalition in Yemen no longer wants US support to refuel their fighter jets. As the official Saudi Arabian news agency SPA reported, the coalition called on the US to stop its aid. The reason given was that Allianz had recently expanded its capabilities in this area and was no longer dependent on support. The decision was made in consultations with the USA.
The US government confirmed the information. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the US supported the riad's "decision" to end cooperation on air refueling of their warplanes. The coalition has decided to "use its own military capabilities". So far, the US has been responsible for refueling around a fifth of the coalition aircraft that were in service in Yemen.
In view of the numerous civilian casualties in air strikes in Yemen, international criticism of the military operation has recently increased. Support for Saudi Arabia in the three-year civil war in which more than 10,000 people were killed and more than two million displaced has long been controversial in the United States, including among President Donald Trump's Republicans.
This criticism recently increased in the wake of international outrage over the murder of the Saudi government critic Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate in Istanbul. The US government condemned the journalist's murder, but at the same time tried to avert damage to relations with its close ally, Saudi Arabia.
US President Donald Trump (r.) With the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the White House in March
A coordinated decision by the Washington and Riyadh governments to end fueling aid could be an attempt by both sides to prevent Congress from intervening. Especially since the opposition Democrats recently won a majority in the House of Representatives in the congressional elections.
Meanwhile, the Yemeni government troops apparently captured the largest hospital in the embattled port city of Hodeida. As military representatives announced, the troops already took control of the May 22nd hospital, which is located in the east of the strategically important city on the Red Sea, on Friday evening. According to medical experts, more than 130 fighters were killed in Hodeida between Thursday and Friday alone.
Penetrated into the city for the first time
On Thursday, the government troops backed by the Arab military coalition's air strikes entered the city for the first time. On Friday they moved towards the port. According to observers, the offensive to recapture the port, where most of the imports and international aid supplies for Yemen are handled, can be expected in the coming days.
Government fighters advancing on Hodeida on Wednesday
On Thursday, the human rights organization Amnesty International accused the Houthi rebels of misusing the May 22nd hospital for military purposes and of positioning snipers on the roof. On Wednesday, a hospital official told the AFP news agency that hospital staff had to leave the clinic. According to Amnesty, there were numerous injured civilians in the hospital who were unable to escape.
The military coalition initially started the offensive on the port city in June, but interrupted it in July in favor of the UN's peace efforts. After the attempt at mediation failed in September, the coalition announced the continuation of the offensive.
The United Nations warned in October that 14 million people in Yemen were threatened with starvation, almost half of the population. The UN speaks of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
stu / jj (afp, dpa)
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