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US to stop midair refuels for Saudi coalition in Yemen with peace push on track for November meeting



The U.S. Pat. Military will no longer provide mid-day refueling for the Saudi-led coalition's warplanes fighting in Yemen, Saudi State Media and the Pentagon confirmed Friday.

The change came after growing pressure from Congress to end. support for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen's government in their battle with rebels, known as the Houthis, which has stretched for nearly four years, killing at least 16,200 civilians and bringing 14 million people to the brink of famine.

While U.S. Reflecting removes a controversial and tangible measure of support for the coalition, especially in light of international criticism of its targeting civilians.

 In this Oct. 1, 2018, photo, a doctor measures the poor of malnourished girl at the Aslam Health Center, Hajjah, Yemen. The UN agencies are warning that at least 3.5 million others might slip into the pre-famine stage. Malnutrition, cholera, and others The Associated Press
In This Oct. 1, 2018, photo, a doctor measures the poor of malnourished girl at the Aslam Health Center, Hajjah, Yemen. The UN agencies are warning that at least 3.5 million others might slip into the pre-famine stage. Malnutrition, cholera, and others

It also comes as the U.S. Envoy Martin Griffiths to bring the warring parties to the table for talks by the month's end.

The decision was made because of the coalition "refueling, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency, which said the U.S. what consulted first.

Defense Secretary James Mattis welcomed the decision in a statement Friday, adding that the United States. Al Qaeda and ISIS efforts in Yemen and the region. "

has been conducting a counter-terrorism campaign against both terror groups, it has long been supporting the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition. The other primary factor is that the Houthis are aligned with Iran, which the Trump administration has targeted as the source of unrest in the region.

"It's the Houthis in a way that has narrowed this civil war that has wreaked so much death and destruction inside Yemen," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told BBC Persian Wednesday.

The administration intends to provide the intelligence and reconnaissance to assist the Saudis and Emirates, in addition to several arms deals with both countries.

 FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2018, file photo, Yemeni people attend the Saudi Arabian Airstrike, in Saada, Yemen. A leading Yemeni rebel figure said Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, that the Trump administration calls for a cease-fire in his The Associated Press
FILE – In this Aug. 13, 2018, file photo, Yemeni people Saudi Arabian airstrike, in Saada, Yemen. A leading Yemeni rebel figure said Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, that the Trump administration's calls for a cease-fire in his

But the decision to end mid-day refueling was congratulatory, which has long called for this move.

Republican Sen. Todd Young of Indiana and Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire released a statement earlier in the Friday on the administration to just that, threatening further congressional action.

To some members, the decision was belated and inadequate. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., Called for Congress. involvement in the conflict, which he sees as unlawful.

"By finally ending the mission to Saudi Arabia, the trump administration has been sent to Yemen, it has become a national security and humanitarian nightmare "We need to get all the way out," said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., in a similar statement.

The question is whether the U.S. ending support wants to be joined by diplomatic pressure on the Saudi and Emirates to end the conflict.

There is a great deal of support for the case after the fight in Yemen. Mattis and Pompeo. While the U.S. backs the coalition, it seemed to ignore the U.S. calls for peace, beginning with offensive to retake the key port of Hodeida, through which around 80 percent of Yemen's food and humanitarian goods enter the country.

 PHOTO: In this Feb. 4, 2018, file photo, a man inspects rubble after a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sana'a, Yemen. AP
This Feb. 4, 2018, file photo, A man inspects a rubble after a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sana'a, Yemen.

This week, Yemeni government-aligned forces, backed by Saudi and Emirati air power, moved to the city, even as Houthi rebels seized a hospital as a military outpost to fire on coalition forces – a sign of how both sides have been behaved in this brutal, conducted what the UN says amount to was crimes and put civilians in their crosshairs.

Despite the violence, the U.N. is still pushing to bring all sides to a negotiating table by the end of November. That goalpost seemed to fade out of sight, with the U.N. Secretary-General's deputy spokesperson saying Griffiths hoped to do so by year's end.

ABC News that are still on track for an end-of-November meeting, with Griffiths and his team making progress to that end.

Griffiths's team denied any delays, telling ABC News in a statement, "There has not been a postponement." Our work to re-launch the political process is proceeding as planned. We are committed to convening the talks as soon as [logistical] arrangements are finalized. "

A U.S. Pat. ABC News, "Our Principal Remains a Resolution on the Conflict, and we are focusing our energies on supporting the UN Envoy's efforts to end that." We reiterate our calls for a cessation of hostilities and for all parties to come to the table to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. "

Hani Mohammed / AP

One potential snag, aid groups warned, were reports that the U.S. is considering the Houthi rebels as a terrorist organization. The Washington Post reported Friday that the idea was under consideration by the Trump administration.

While the idea has been under discussion multiple times within the U.S. Government since the Obama Administration, a separate source told ABC News This is not expected to happen now. It's unclear how far along in that lengthy process, if at all, the idea currently is.

Experts warn that doing so would alienate the houthis and sabotage the peace process – which the administration says it does not want to do. It could also be complicate or endanger the work of aid groups who have to negotiate and work with the Houthis to administer services in territory that they control.


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