US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday and emphasized US commitment to helping Saudi Arabia defend its territory and people, the Pentagon said.
Austin and Prince Mohammed discussed regional security, particularly efforts to end the war in Yemen, and “ongoing bilateral efforts to improve Saudi Arabia’s defenses,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.
Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who have controlled most of northern Yemen since 2014, have kept up cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia and are pressing an offensive to seize Yemen’s gas-rich Marib region. An Arab Coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 after the Houthis ousted the government from the capital Sanaa.
Austin “noted Saudi Arabia’s recent successes in defeating Houthi attacks on the Kingdom” and thanked the crown prince for working with US special envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking to end the Yemen war, Kirby said.
Last month, Lenderking criticized the Houthis for not engaging seriously in stalled efforts to secure a ceasefire. He also urged the coalition to remove restrictions on all Yemeni ports and airports.
More than 100,000 people have been killed in the war, most of them civilians, and millions of Yemenis rely on humanitarian assistance to survive.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince welcomes Kuwait’s Crown Prince in RiyadhSaudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed on Tuesday Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad to Riyadh on first official visit to ... Gulf
Saudi Arabia net foreign assets drop 1.9 percent to $436 bln in AprilSaudi Arabia’s net foreign assets dropped to $436.30 billion in April, down nearly 1.9 percent from $444.59 billion in March, central bank data showed ... Economy
Saudi minister defends order to turn down the volume on mosquesSaudi Arabia’s Islamic Affairs minister on Monday defended an order to lower the volume on mosque loudspeakers, saying families had been complaining ... Gulf