US President Joe Biden is ending US military support for the war by its Saudi allies in Yemen, the White House said Thursday ahead of the Democrat’s first major foreign policy speech.
“He’s going to announce an end to American support for offensive operations in Yemen,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters shortly before Biden was to make the speech at the State Department.
“That’s a promise he made in the campaign he will be following through on.”
The end on US military support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen reverses former president Donald Trump’s policy of providing logistical assistance and selling huge amounts of advanced weaponry such as precision-guided bombs.
Signalling Washington’s new approach to the war, which has led to a humanitarian crisis, the Biden administration is also appointing a Yemen envoy, Timothy Lenderking, said a person familiar with the matter.
Biden “will talk about the United States playing a more active and engaged role in the diplomacy to bring an end to the conflict,” Sullivan said.
Yemen has been since March 2015 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led Coalition, in a bid to restore control to fugitive president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who is Riyadh’s ally.
Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have been killed or injured in the strikes launched by the coalition, with the vast majority of them are civilians.
The US-backed coalition, which includes in addition to Saudi Arabia and UAE: Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait, has been also imposing a harsh blockade against Yemenis.