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Washington: We Back Saudi Arabia in Yemen

Washington: We Back Saudi Arabia in Yemen

Wednesday, 29 August, 2018 - 05:15
Secretary of Defense James Mattis (L) walks with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford from the West Wing of the White House in Washington, US, September 3, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Theiler
Washington- Riyadh - Atef Abdul Latif and Asharq Al-Awsat

The United States reiterated on Tuesday its support to Saudi Arabia in Yemen and considered Iran the biggest threat to stability in the region.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis said during a joint press conference with Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford at the Pentagon that Washington’s support to the Saudi-led Arab Coalition was the right decision to help Saudi Arabia defend its border and bring back stability to Yemen.

He said the US is “closely working” with UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths to take the conflict to the negotiating table.

“Our conduct there is to try and keep the human cost of innocents being killed accidentally to the absolute minimum,” said the Defense Secretary in response to a question.

“In Yemen, you know, as a general statement, we stay out of the war ourselves and we are focused on defeating ISIS,” he told reporters.

“For the last several years we have been working with the Saudis and the Emirates doing what we can to reduce any chance of innocent people being injured or killed. We recognize that we are watching a war in which the Houthi-led effort involves launching weapons out of residential areas into Saudi Arabia. We recognize the complexity of it,” Mattis added.

He also slammed Iran for its “continued mischief” in the region.

Mattis said Washington does not tolerate Iran’s threats to the Straits of Hormuz and its support to the Houthi insurgents with missiles that are fired into Saudi Arabia.

Iran continues to be "the single biggest destabilizing element in the Middle East."

His remarks came as the Arab Coalition announced on Tuesday that it will respond to a recent United Nations report on rights violations committed in Yemen after a legal review.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki said that the conclusions of the review will be announced after it is finalized.

The Group of Regional and International Eminent Experts on Yemen released a report on human rights violations committed in the war-torn country between September 2014 and June 2018.

It accused the Houthis of committing vast violations throughout the regions they control in Yemen.

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