US stops aerial re­fu­elling of Saudi air­craft in Ye­men war, Nor­way sus­pends arms ex­ports

Ye­meni armed forces an­nounced on Fri­day launch of vast mil­i­tary cam­paign to re­store con­trol over Al-Hu­day­dah city, port in west Ye­men

The Daily News Egypt - - News - By Mo­hammed El-Said

The US will stop aerial re­fu­elling of the Saudi-led coali­tion’s air­crafts which par­tic­i­pate in airstrikes in the Ye­meni war, ac­cord­ing to Reuters quot­ing two US of­fi­cials. The sources, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said that Saudi Ara­bia can now to re­fuel its air­crafts.

Soon fol­low­ing the leaks of US in­ten­tion on Fri­day night, the Saudiled coali­tion an­nounced that it has re­quested Wash­ing­ton to stop re­fu­elling the coali­tion’s air­crafts en­gaged in­Ye­men’s war as SaudiAra­bia can now han­dle the process it­self.

“The King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia, and the mem­ber coun­tries of the Coali­tion to Sup­port Le­git­i­macy in Ye­men, con­tin­u­ally pur­sue im­prove­ments to mil­i­tary pro­fes­sion­al­ism and self-suf­fi­ciency,” Saudi Ara­bia said in a state­ment re­leased by the king­dom’s official news agency.

The US was re­fu­elling about 20% of Saudi air­crafts that par­tic­i­pate in the Saudi-led mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions in Ye­men.

In March 2015, Saudi Ara­bia an­nounced the for­ma­tion of a mil­i­tary coali­tion against the Iran-backed An­sar Al­lah ‘Houthi’ group af­ter it took over the Ye­meni cap­i­tal of Sanaa in Septem­ber 2014.

Be­sides Saudi Ara­bia, the coali­tion in­cludes the UAE, Jor­dan, Bahrain, Pak­istan, Dji­bouti, Su­dan, Sene­gal, Kuwait, Morocco, Malaysia, and Egypt, as well as the in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised govern­ment of Ye­men. Qatar was part of the coali­tion un­til the Gulf cri­sis erupted in May 2017.

Also, on Fri­day, Nor­way an­nounced the sus­pen­sion of new arms li­censes’ ex­ports to Saudi Ara­bia. Nor­way’s for­eign min­istry ex­plained in a state­ment, “We have de­cided that in the present sit­u­a­tion we will not give new li­censes for the ex­port of de­fence ma­te­rial or mul­ti­pur­pose goods for mil­i­tary use to Saudi Ara­bia.”

The Nor­we­gian move came amid in­ter­na­tional out­rage aroused fol­low­ing the mur­der of prom­i­nent Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi in­side his coun­try’s con­sulate in Is­tan­bul, Turkey, on 2 Oc­to­ber. Saudi Ara­bia also faces crit­i­cism over its en­gage­ment in mil­i­tary at­tacks on Ye­men which con­trib­uted to one of the world’s worst hu­man­i­tar­ian crises.

Mean­while, the Ye­meni armed forces af­fil­i­ated with the in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised Pres­i­dent Ab­drabbu Man­sour Hadi an­nounced on Fri­day the launch of a vast mil­i­tary cam­paign to re­store con­trol over Al-Hu­day­dah city and port in west Ye­men.

The con­flict in Ye­men re­sulted in the death of more than 100,000 civil­ians and wound­ing of hun­dreds of thou­sands.

The UN warned in early Oc­to­ber that about 13 mil­lion peo­ple in Ye­men could face star­va­tion amid the con­ti­nu­ity of war in the coun­try, with­out al­low­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian aid. The UN de­scribed the sit­u­a­tion in Ye­men as “the worst famine in the world in 100 years”.

US was re­fu­elling about 20% of Saudi air­crafts

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