A week after Saudi Arabia attacked a funeral home in the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa, killing at least 155 people, including the mayor, US officials are increasingly critical of the attack in comments to media outlets, with one unnamed senior official calling it “egregious.”
“The strike on the funeral was really, really hard to swallow,” one of the officials noted during the briefing, which focused on US policy toward Yemen. Several officials added that US support for the Saudi war in general is “under review.”
The timing of this sudden criticism of the Saudis is a bit uncomfortable for the US, as it comes just two days after US forces attacked the Shi’ite Houthis in Yemen, destroying several radar stations, then subsequently admitted that they weren’t sure the Houthis were responsible for the attack it was supposed to be retaliation for.
The US has not only backed the Saudi war over the past 18 months, but has been directly participating, offering mid-air refueling operations for Saudi warplanes throughout the conflict, as well as huge arms sales to Saudi Arabia’s military.
US support for the war has been problematic, with Saudi airstrikes killing huge numbers of civilians. Administration lawyers have reportedly expressed concern that the US could face liability for the attacks as a “co-belligerent” because of their substantial support for the Saudis.