Published: Sun, December 10, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

US Tells Saudis to Allow Yemen Humanitarian Aid Immediately

US Tells Saudis to Allow Yemen Humanitarian Aid Immediately

Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

At the worldwide level, however, Tillerson urged Saudi restraint. Tillerson has repeatedly tried without success to facilitate a resolution to a dispute between a Saudi-led bloc and Qatar, which hosts a key US military headquarters.

"The Western countries not only do not allow worldwide institutions to perform their duty to identify the Saudi crimes in Yemen, but also do not show willingness to stop the process of selling and transferring weapons to Saudi Arabia", stressed Shamkhani, criticizing the United Kingdom for selling arms to Riyadh.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday added his voice to growing Trump administration admonitions of longtime ally Saudi Arabia for blocking deliveries of humanitarian aid to war-torn Yemen and other actions in the Middle East.

Tillerson renewed the call for the blockade's "complete end".

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He slammed the positions of some countries against Iran's regional policies, saying that Tehran is serious in countering terrorism, and if it was not for the policies and actions of the Islamic Republic for which hundreds of people were martyred, ISIS today was ruling in Iraq and Syria, and had reached European borders.

Tillerson's comments came as Yemeni officials said air raids launched by a Saudi-led military coalition had killed at least 23 civilians, including women and children, in the country's north.

The Trump administration has sought to strengthen Sunni-led Saudi Arabia's role as a regional counterweight to Iran, the Shiite powerhouse the USA blames for fomenting unrest in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. The Saudi-led coalition backs Yemen's internationally recognized government and has battled the Houthis since March 2015.The stalemated war has killed more than 10,000 civilians and pushed the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of starvation. They question if Saudi Arabia is enhancing stability in the volatile Middle East. It also showed Trump aligning more closely with his top diplomat who, along with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, has been more inclined to reprimand Saudi Arabia for a series of foreign policy steps that have drawn widespread criticism. The United States has oscillated between supporting the Saudi and Qatari sides of the dispute.

In recent weeks, Tillerson got Trump's permission to deliver private messages to Prince Mohammed, warning him against further destabilizing actions in Qatar.

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