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US doubled fuel support for Saudi-led coalition

July 19, 2017 at 4:48 pm

A Saudi border guard watches as he stands in a boat off the coast of the Red Sea on Saudi Arabia’s maritime border with Yemen, near Jizan [File photo, Faisal Al Nasser / Reuters]

The United States has doubled the amount of fuel it supplied to the Saudi-led coalition airplanes after a deadly on a funeral in Yemen which killed 130 civilians, according to figures obtained by the US military.

The figures confirm that the US support for the campaign has continued to increase despite increasing condemnation as a result of the civilian casualties and war crimes allegations.

However, Congress has just missed the chance to vote on legislation that would restrict the Pentagon’s supply of fuel to the Saudi alliance unless it could be assured that subsequent missions will not harm civilians.

The National Defence Authorisation Act filed by Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna with bipartisan support has failed to pass the Rules Committee and will therefore not be voted on.

Read: Operation Hudaydah, Yemen’s most wanted port

“I am disappointed that the House will not vote on amendments that would enforce greater oversight of US operations in Yemen,” said Khanna.

On 25 March 2015, the Obama administration announced its support for the Saudi campaign against Houthi rebels and allied forces in Yemen. The next day, CENTCOM commander General Lloyd Austin said he did not know “the specific goals and objectives of the Saudi campaign”.

The US has since offloaded more than £67 million ($87.4 million) of fuel to coalition jets, refuelling aircraft more than 9,000 times according to Air Force figures provided to the Intercept.

According to UN estimates, the Saudi coalition has been responsible for at least 3,333 civilians killed in Yemen since the start of US support.