US Increases Involvement in Saudi War Against Yemen

US Planes to Begin Aerial Refueling Operations

In a move that Pentagon officials are describing as just a “deepening” of their military involvement in the Saudi attack on Yemen, they have announced military aircraft from Centcom will begin aerial refueling operations for Saudi planes currently bombing the nation.

The announcement couldn’t be worse timed, coming after a three day span during which Saudi planes killed scores of civilians in a pair of attacks on a dairy and a refugee camp in northern Yemen.

Though the US has tried to downplay its involvement in the war, officials confirmed that US surveillance planes have been flying over Yemen and providing the Saudis with intelligence for their airstrikes, which isn’t an appealing role considering how bloody and unpopular those strikes have been.

The US had previously been so loathe to admit their military involvement in the Saudi war that some outlets have assumed the US to be opposed to the conflict, and that the Saudi invasion is being done over the objections of the US.

It couldn’t be farther from the truth. Saudi Arabia, like other US allies in the region, has more or less carte blanche to do whatever it likes, and the indications are that the US has not only backed the war but helped orchestrate it.

No clearer indication has their been than the announcement from the Obama Administration earlier this week that they were ending curbs on military aid to Egypt, another nation involved in the war, with an eye toward providing them more warplanes to attack Yemen with.

The ousted dictator, who Egypt and the Saudis intend to reinstall, was put in place primarily at the urging of the US in the first place, and his January resignation caused them no end of annoyance. While Saudis have denied this being a “proxy war,” it seems very much that they themselves are the American proxy in the conflict.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.