Last February, in his first major foreign policy speech, President Biden declared, “The war in Yemen must end.” But nearly a year later, the U.S.-enabled death and destruction in Yemen continue apace.
Saudi-backed forces loyal to Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his government in exile in Riyadh have conducted a series of offensives in recent days—supported by Saudi airstrikes—against Houthi forces backed by Iran. They seized territory in the province of Al-Bayda, while United Arab Emirates–backed forces retook control of the province of Shabwah.
This directly contradicts the Saudis’ claim last month that they needed U.S. weaponry to defend against Houthi cross-border attacks, claims reprinted in high-profile outlets like The Wall Street Journal. In December, the Biden administration pushed an additional sale of missiles to Saudi Arabia through Congress, arguing that the weapons would be used for “defensive” purposes.
This latest round of violence demonstrates that U.S. support continues to embolden the Saudis, Emiratis, and the Hadi government, perpetuating a war that has already claimed 377,000 Yemeni lives. The Biden administration remained silent on the Saudis’ Christmas bombing campaign and even echoed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud’s talking points about Iran. “The illegal flow of Iranian weapons to Yemen is enabling the brutal Houthi offensive against Marib, leading to loss of civilian lives and prolonging the war,” tweeted State Department spokesman Ned Price.
Read the full article in The New Republic.