Saudi Arabia has been one of the key US allies in the Middle East. Joe Biden has questioned this partnership.
For many years, Washington has supplied arms to the Arab coalition, which almost 6 years ago launched a military campaign in Yemen against the local Houthis. In a fit of ostentatious peacefulness, Biden suspended military support for the campaign last week, freezing arms supplies to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, he overturned the previous administration’s decision to list the Yemeni Houthis as terrorist organizations, which sparked a humanitarian crisis.
“Allegedly, the purpose of these steps is to create conditions for the settlement of the conflict through negotiations. But in the end, America’s staunchest Arab allies are now offended”, – writes the American Bloomberg news agency.
The bombing of Yemen was at one time approved by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia personally, when he served as the Kingdom’s Minister of Defense. At the same time, the Houthis now control much more territories than they did 6 years ago. It is obvious that Riyadh would not want to retreat under US pressure.
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“It will take a lot of diplomatic skill to force the opposing sides to even agree to negotiations. The Yemeni crisis is far more complex now than it was in 2016, when the last substantive peace talks were held in Kuwait. The Houthis are stronger and better armed, and their rivals in Yemen are divided”, – Bloomberg writes.
“Neither the Houthis nor their enemies seem to be able to win a decisive victory, but both sides have the means and motivation to continue fighting endlessly”.