Saudi-Led Coalition in Yemen Asks US to Stop Refueling Its Aircraft

Postado Novembro 10, 2018

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

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis said he supported Saudi Arabia's "decision" after the official Saudi Press Agency said the coalition asked for the "cessation of inflight refueling support" from the United States.

The move comes amid an ongoing global outcry over Saudi actions in Yemen, particularly after a string of high-profile coalition strikes that have killed scores of civilians, many of them children.

On Friday, Reuters reported, citing unnamed United States officials, that Washington considering ending the refueling of coalition aircraft in Yemen, citing both the coalition's own increased capabilities and growing worldwide outrage over the human consequences of the war in Yemen.

Currently, the Pentagon provides refueling capabilities for about 20 percent of coalition planes flying sorties over Yemen.

In August, Mattis warned that U.S. support for the coalition was "not unconditional", urging it to do "everything humanly possible to avoid any innocent loss of life".

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in the conflict between embattled Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, whose government is recognized by the United Nations, and the Houthis in 2015.

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

Save the Children reported nearly 100 air strikes - five times as many as in the whole first week of October - at the weekend.

Backed by Saudi air raids, loyalist troops for the first time entered residential neighborhoods on Thursday, using bulldozers to remove concrete road blocks installed by the rebels.

The World Health Organization estimates almost 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen's war since 2015, although rights groups say the toll could be five times higher.

The human rights group said the Houthi militia recently stationed fighters on the roof of a hospital in the May 22 district of the Red Sea port city, calling the action a "stomach-churning development".

The push against the Iran-backed rebels also known as Houthis who are holding Hudaida began anew this month, shortly after the United States called for a ceasefire by the end of the month.

Hodeida port is crucial for aid delivery and food imports to Yemen, where starvation looms over 14 million people and a child dies every 10 minutes from easily preventable diseases, according to the UN.

He told them cutting off support could jeopardise cooperation on counter-terrorism and reduce American influence with Saudi Arabia.