US support to coalition in Yemen not unconditional

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Asianbangla Desk : US support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen is not “unconditional,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday, as he defended America’s ongoing role in the war. Afp, Washington

The Pentagon chief’s comments came the same day as UN investigators said they had reasonable grounds to believe that warring parties in Yemen may have committed a “substantial number” of violations of humanitarian law that could amount to “war crimes.”

The US provides weapons, aerial refueling to jets, intelligence and targeting information to the Saudi-led coalition that is fighting Huthi rebels in Yemen.

“Our conduct there is to try and keep the human cost of innocents being killed accidentally to the absolute minimum,” Mattis told Pentagon reporters. “That is our goal where we engage with the coalition.”

But, he said, US support has its limits.

“It is not unconditional,” he said, noting that the coalition must do “everything humanly possible to avoid any innocent loss of life, and they support the UN-brokered peace process.”

The devastating Yemen conflict has left nearly 10,000 people dead since March 2015, when the Saudi-led coalition intervened to fight Huthi rebels closing in on the last bastion of President Mansour Hadi’s government.

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