US halts re­fu­elling Saudi forces in Ye­men

Sunday Express - - WORLD -

THE Saudi-led coali­tion fight­ing in Ye­men halted a con­tro­ver­sial re­fu­el­ing ar­range­ment with the US on Satur­day, as Riyadh-backed troops took the main hos­pi­tal in the strate­gic port city of Hodeida.

The sus­pen­sion of US as­sis­tance to re-fuel coali­tion air­craft comes as Wash­ing­ton’s back­ing of the war ef­fort faces in­creased scru­tiny fol­low­ing in­ter­na­tional out­rage over jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi’s mur­der last month in the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul.

US Democrats, buoyed by a string of midterm elec­tion vic­to­ries, have sought to cur­tail Wash­ing­ton’s mil­i­tary sup­port to Saudi Ara­bia and de­manded greater over­sight of a con­flict dubbed by the UN as the world’s worst hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis.

But in an ap­par­ent face-sav­ing move, Saudi Ara­bia sought to project the de­ci­sion to end in-flight re­fu­elling as its own, not Wash­ing­ton’s.

“Re­cently the king­dom and the coali­tion has in­creased its ca­pa­bil­ity to in­de­pen­dently con­duct in­flight re­fu­el­ing in Ye­men,” the of­fi­cial Saudi Press Agency said.

“As a re­sult, in con­sul­ta­tion with the United States, the coali­tion has re­quested ces­sa­tion of in­flight re­fu­el­ing sup­port for its op­er­a­tions in Ye­men.”

The grind­ing Saudi-led war in Ye­men has caused grow­ing in­ter­na­tional un­ease, after a string of high-pro­file coali­tion strikes that have killed scores of civil­ians, many of them chil­dren.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.