US President Joe Biden will announce an end to American support for the Saudi-led coalition’s offensive against Houthi rebels in Yemen, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Thursday.
Biden is expected to formally roll out the policy change during remarks at the State Department later Thursday.
Saudi Arabia’s campaign against the Houthis has prompted a widespread humanitarian outcry amid repeated atrocities, including the 2016 targeting of a funeral in Sana’a, the rebel-controlled capital, that killed more than 100 victims.
The Iran-backed rebel group overran much of Yemen beginning in 2014, deposing the government and sending it into exile before it returned to the port city of Aden in 2016. Political turmoil has been the rule rather than the exception since with a third separatist movement known as the Southern Transitional Council being declared in May 2017.
Political infighting has taken place amid what is widely-considered to be the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe with Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation even before the conflict, facing widespread famine.
The Saudi coalition’s actions aimed at rolling back Houthi gains have been widely criticized by rights groups for worsening the situation and the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crisis with nearly 80%, or about 30 million, Yemenis needing humanitarian assistance.
About 13 million are in danger of starvation.
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