Tags: Trump Administration | jamal khashoggi | crown prince | saudi arabia | yemen | ceasefire

Mattis: Yemen Ceasefire Call Has Nothing to Do With Khashoggi

camera catches james mattis with his mouth wide open during remarks
Defense Secretary James Mattis (Andrew Harnik/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 October 2018 09:38 PM

Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Tuesday called for an end to the brutal Saudi-led war in Yemen, but said the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi officials was not the impetus behind his comments.

"The murder of Khashoggi is, I would separate it out from the Yemen situation," Mattis said at the United States Institute of Peace, per a report in The Hill. "That stands unique, by itself. The president said we want to get to the bottom of it. We will get to the bottom of it."

The conflict in Yemen has left at least 16,000 people dead and more than two million displaced since the fighting started in 2015 between Houthi rebels and Yemeni government forces, per figures reported by the Global Conflict Tracker.

The civil war has devastated the Middle Eastern country and left thousands without food, water, medicine and other essentials as the Houthi siege has prevented supplies from arriving.

Mattis said it was long past time for the Arab coalition – led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – to lay down their arms. 

"The longer-term solution, and by longer term, I mean 30 days from now, we want to see everybody around a peace table, based on a ceasefire, based on a pullback from the border, and then based on ceasing dropping of bombs that will permit the [U.N.] special envoy Martin Griffiths — he's very good, he knows what he's doing — to get them together in Sweden and end this war," Mattis said.

Khashoggi, a Virginia resident and columnist for The Washington Post, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in early October in what Saudi officials called an "interrogation gone wrong." The Saudi dissident was critical of Saudi Arabia and specifically Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Turkish officials said he was tortured, killed, and dismembered. 

The U.S. has been criticized for not responding swiftly to Khashoggi's death. 

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The killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi officials was not the impetus behind Secretary of Defense James Mattis' call for an end to the brutal Saudi-led war in Yemen.
jamal khashoggi, crown prince, saudi arabia, yemen, ceasefire
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Tuesday, 30 October 2018 09:38 PM
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