7740. 5/18/2017

FOREIGN POLICY/SAUDI ARABIA/YEMEN: “The mostly Gulf Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and backed by U.S. arms and intelligence, has waged a nearly two-year-old campaign on behalf of Yemen’s internationally recognized government, which the Houthi movement – allied with Saudi’s arch-foe Iran – is battling to dislodge.
Trump has signaled a tough new line on Tehran by choosing Riyadh for his first visit abroad.
But the Yemeni government’s authority is fast eroding and, though nominally based in Aden, it resides mostly in Riyadh to avoid incessant bombings by Islamist militant groups al Qaeda and Islamic State.
Meanwhile the hospital scenes of children shriveled by hunger and men writhing from shrapnel wounds suggest the cost of the war in terms of human suffering is growing…
Washington is considering stepping up the non-lethal support, such as intelligence, it already offers the coalition in Yemen, U.S. officials have said – reversing a policy by predecessor Barack Obama who limited the U.S. role due to mounting civilian deaths.”

-Aziz El Yaakoubi and Noah Browning, “Yemen sets chaotic backdrop for Trump’s Saudi visit,” Reuters, May 18, 2017 10:06am

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