The United States will no longer provide midair refueling for Saudi planes conducting airstrikes in Yemen, the Pentagon and Saudi state media announced Friday.
U.S. support — including refueling, intelligence sharing and tactical guidance, drone strikes, weapons sales, and more — has been crucial to the controversial intervention, in which the Saudi-led coalition has been accused of committing war crimes against the civilian population. The United States was refueling about 20 percent of Saudi strike flights and will maintain other means of support.
The coalition has implemented a blockade — cast as an effort to keep weapons away from Houthi rebel fighters on the opposite side of the civil war — with deadly results. Yemen imports 90 percent of its food, so limited port access for civilian concerns has combined with currency collapse to produce starvation conditions. The country is already wracked by cholera, and more than 100 Yemeni children die daily from starvation and preventable diseases.