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US Wants to Step Up Saudi Support in Yemen

Image: US Wants to Step Up Saudi Support in Yemen
Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman (R in doorway) walks with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis (L in doorway) to the meeting with their delegations on April 19, 2017 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.m (Pool/Getty )

By    |   Sunday, 23 Apr 2017 09:34 AM

The U.S. is considering stepping up its support for Saudis in their fight in Yemen against Iran-backed rebels, despite reluctance of congressional lawmakers, according to The Hill.

"We will have to overcome Iran's efforts to destabilize yet another country and create another militia in their image of Lebanese Hezbollah, but the bottom line is we are on the right path for it," Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters this week in Riyadh, per The Hill.

The Trump administration wants to step up its aid to the coalition in Yemen's civil war that began in 2015 with U.S. support in the way of arms sales but had been pulled back at the end of the Obama administration, according to the report.

"The United States has no business supplying a military that targets civilians or enables terrorist groups to thrive, but that's exactly what we're doing right now in Yemen," Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said in a statement, per The Hill. "The Saudis are important partners in the Middle East, but they have continued to disregard our advice when it comes to target selection and civilian protection."

A letter sent by 55 House lawmakers, mostly Democrats, called on Trump to end support to the Saudis, while Senators sought legislation to require the White House to cerify Saudi Arabia is meeting certain conditions before permitting future arms sales, according to the report.

Despite that, James Carafano, an expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation, does not believe "there's a momentum or consensus to really push back" on the administrations moves.

"Nobody wants four more years of the last eight years of U.S. policy, nobody expects the U.S. to be as muscular in the region as it was under [President George W. Bush], but they all want presence, they want to put Iran back in the box, and they want to get rid of ISIS and al-Qaida," Carafano told The Hill.

"They can do what Obama did and walk away, they can do what Bush did and try to shape the region, or they can do what this is, persistent presence, 'We're going to be there, and we're going to work with you.' It's not like they have a whole lot of choices."

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The U.S. is considering stepping up its support for Saudis in their fight in Yemen against Iran-backed rebels, despite reluctance of congressional lawmakers, according to The Hill."We will have to overcome Iran's efforts to destabilize yet another country and create another...
trump, wants, military, presence, yemen
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2017-34-23
Sunday, 23 Apr 2017 09:34 AM
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