Sweden joins calls for stronger action to end Yemen war

Lester Mason
November 10, 2018

"The U.S. and the Coalition are planning to collaborate on building up legitimate Yemeni forces to defend the Yemeni people, secure their country's borders, and contribute to counter Al Qaeda and ISIS efforts in Yemen and the region", he said in a statement.

The United States supports Saudi Arabia's decision that the Saudi-led coalition, engaged in the Yemeni conflict, should refuel its aircraft independently, without US support, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis said in a statement on Saturday.

Riyadh's grinding war in Yemen as caused growing worldwide outcry, particularly after a string of high-profile coalition strikes that have killed scores of civilians, many of them children.

Mattis said: "We support the decision by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia".

The United States effectively gave a green light to the Saudi-led offensive when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on September 12 certified continued American support for the coalition's air campaign against the Houthis.

In August this year, he warned that USA support for the coalition was "not unconditional", noting it must do "everything humanly possible to avoid any innocent loss of life".

The implication of the decision are not clear as of yet but the Associated Press news agency reported United States officials saying earlier that Saudi forces now handled about 80 percent of refuelling operations, a critical function that allows aircraft to fly longer sorties.

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 Huthis in 2015.

Pro-government forces are now pushing deeper into Hodeida amid fierce fighting.

In recent days, fighting intensified with troops trained by the United Arab Emirates, a coalition member, advanced in eastern Hodeida, pushing toward the city's port and key Red Sea facilities, some 5 kilometres away.

In the past 24 hours, fighting claimed the lives of 27 rebels and 12 pro-government fighters on the outskirts of Hodeida city, a medical source told AFP on Wednesday.

The United States and Britain late last month called for a ceasefire in Yemen to support U.N. -led efforts to end the almost four-year long war that has killed more than 10,000 people and triggered the world's most urgent humanitarian crisis.

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 decision by Americans to pull out also comes amid outrage by US lawmakers from both political parties over the October 2 slaying of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called for an immediate end to the military escalation in Yemen.

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.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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