The United States has decided to limit military support to Saudi Arabia’s campaign in Yemen because of concerns over widespread civilian casualties and will halt a planned arms sale to the kingdom, U.S. officials told Reuters.
The decision reflects deep frustration within President Barack Obama’s government over Saudi Arabia’s practices in Yemen’s 20-month-old war, which has killed more than 10,000 people and sparked humanitarian crises, including chronic food shortages, in the poorest country in the Middle East.
Rights groups say Saudi-led coalition attacks on clinics, schools, markets and factories may amount to war crimes. Saudi Arabia has either denied the attacks or cited the presence of fighters in the targeted areas and has said it has tried to reduce civilian casualties.
An Obama administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said “systemic, endemic” problems in Saudi Arabia’s targeting drove the U.S. decision to halt a future weapons sale involving precision-guided munitions.