US Continues Involvement Despite Concern Over Saudi War Crimes in Yemen

US Trying to Keep a Low Profile as Facilitator of Saudi War

Last week, human rights groups started to issue statements on the Saudi war against Yemen, noting thousands of people killed and a humanitarian catastrophe impacting tens of millions caused by the Saudi naval blockade of the country. Today, 169 more were killed, mostly civilians, in Saudi attacks.

As all of this attracts more attention to what the Saudis are doing, it will inevitably draw attention to the US military involvement in the war, something that’s been ongoing from the start, but not something the Obama Administration has been eager to talk about.

When the war began in March, the Pentagon was immediately providing in-air refueling for Saudi warplanes bombing Yemen. They’ve also provided surveillance flights over Yemen, helping to pick targets in a war which has disproportionately hit civilian populations.

Even the most scandalous aspect of the Saudi war, the naval blockade of a nation that imports 90% of its food, has been a site of US involvement, as at times the US Navy has contributed warships to stop and search aid ships trying to deliver basic goods to Yemen. The US, like the Saudis, insisted that the ships were probably carrying Iranian weapons, but three solid months of searching ships hasn’t yielded a single find.

The US has tried to keep its facilitation of the Saudi War off the front pages by expressing support for UN peace talk efforts, but the Saudis have appeared disinterested in such efforts, and the US has spent most of its time pushing the Houthis, the one faction that supported the peace talks in the first place, to participate.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of