Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Biden pledges US support for Saudi Arabia amid Yemen attacks

US President Joe Biden says Washington supports Saudi Arabia in the Yemen war that recently saw Yemenis retaliatory attacks against Riyadh.  

Biden reaffirmed the United States’ “commitment to support” Saudi Arabia against the Yemen’s retaliation during a phone call with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, according to a White House readout of the conversation.

Biden also alleged “full support for UN-led efforts to end the war in Yemen.”

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a war against the Arab world’s most impoverished nation in March 2015. The war has been seeking to restore power in Yemen to Riyadh’s favorite officials.

The death toll of the war, now in its seventh year, will reach an estimated 377,000 by the end of 2021, according to a recent report from the UN’s Development Programme.

The fighting has seen some 80 percent of the population, or 24 million people, relying on aid and assistance, including 14.3 million who are in acute need.

The war has enjoyed nearly uninterrupted American arms, logistical, and political support.

Last year, Biden raised hopes of ending the US involvement in the military campaign by announcing an end to Washington’s assistance for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive operations” in Yemen, as well as “relevant arms sales”.

Later, however, his administration gave the go-ahead for a $650 million sale of air-to-air missiles to Riyadh, as well as a $500 million helicopter maintenance deal.

The American president’s pledge of support to the kingdom came less than a week after the White House sent Frank McKenzie, the US general in charge of the American forces in the West Asia region, to the United Arab Emirates—Riyadh’s main ally in the Saudi-led coalition—to verify Washington’s backing for Abu Dhabi against Yemeni counteroffensives.

Saudi Arabia’s official news agency, SPA, also reported, “His Majesty cited the kingdom’s support to efforts by the United States to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and stressed the need to work together to counter the destabilizing activities of Iran’s proxies in the region.”

Iran has repeatedly stressed it has not been and is not after atomic weapons.

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