Ends refueling of Saudi planes

Saul Bowman
November 11, 2018

There has been an worldwide outcry over Saudi actions in Yemen, particularly after a series of high-profile coalition strikes that have killed scores of civilians, many of them children.

The US' statement came after the Saudi Arabia said that "in consultation with the US" it has asked for "cessation of inflight refueling support" from America.

The United States is halting refuelling of aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen, ending one of the most divisive aspects of USA assistance to the Saudi war effort.

"Recently, the Kingdom and the Coalition increased its capability to independently conduct inflight refuelling in Yemen".

He suggested a continuing role for the United States in Yemen to help the Saudi-led coalition and Yemeni forces minimise civilian casualties and expand humanitarian efforts.

"The Saudi-led Coalition and pro-Hadi forces, the Houthi forces â€" and those who supply arms or other support to the parties to the conflict â€" all have the power or the influence to stop the starvation and killing of civilians, to give some reprieve to the people of Yemen", Bachelet said in a statement on Saturday.

A foreign ministry spokesman declined to say whether the decision was partly motivated by the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

The United Arab Emirates has thrown its support behind Saudi Arabia, its main ally, over the Khashoggi affair.

The Pentagon has provided refueling capabilities for about 20 percent of coalition planes flying sorties over Yemen.

Mattis in August noted that US support was conditioned on a Saudi commitment to doing "everything humanly possible" to avoid any loss of innocent life and Riyadh supporting a United Nations -brokered peace process to end the civil war.

Yemeni forces managed to kill and capture dozens of Houthi fighters who lost their strategic positions within the city of Hodeidah.

The coalition has been fighting the Houthis on the side of the government and its allies since 2015.

Almost 10,000 Yemenis have been killed in the conflict since 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

The United Nations has now pushed that deadline back to the end of the year.

The coalition expressed hope in its statement that his efforts would lead to a negotiated settlement, including an end to Houthi missile attacks that have targeted Saudi cities and vessels off the port of Hodeidah.

Yemeni pro-government forces said Wednesday they had advanced closer to the rebel-held port city of Hodeida after fierce battles that have killed almost 200 fighters in the past week.

Moammer al-Iryani told The Associated Press Saturday that his rebel counterpart, Abdul-Salam Ali Gaber, arrived in Saudi Arabia with his family after they fled Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, which has been under rebel control since 2014.

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