Small Wars Journal

Mattis Tells Senators that U.S. Military Aid to the Saudi-Led War in Yemen Should Continue

Mattis Tells Senators that U.S. Military Aid to the Saudi-Led War in Yemen Should Continue by Claudia Grisales - Stars & Stripes

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was slated to tell senators in a closed-door meeting Wednesday that the U.S. military should continue its support of Saudi Arabia in Yemen, according to remarks released by Pentagon officials.

The private meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday, which was slated to include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, comes in the midst of rising concerns of U.S. aid to Saudi Arabia, especially in light of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder at the country’s consulate in Turkey.

Mattis, in the prepared remarks, said the United States was at a critical juncture in the Yemen confrontation and couldn’t afford to withdraw at this time.

“Pulling back our limited U.S. military support, our weapons sales to our partners, and our protection of the Saudi and Emirati populations would be misguided on the eve of the promising initial negotiations,” Mattis said. “It took us too long to get here, but at this key juncture, a change in our approach would work against” United Nations efforts…

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