Visiting the city of Jeddah, Secretary of State John Kerry announced a deal with Saudi Arabia on a new “peace initiative” related to the ongoing Saudi invasion of Yemen. As with all previous such initiatives, Kerry’s statement laying out the plan demanded that the Shi’ite Houthis, who the Saudis are fighting, must immediately surrender all territory and unilaterally disarm before being allowed to participate in any talks.
The Saudis attacked Yemen in March of 2015, demanding the Houthis surrender all territory to former President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who lost the capital city to them in a failed military offensive against the Shi’ite north, and subsequently resigned in January.
The US backed the Saudi war, and has been conducting refueling operations for the Saudi warplanes bombing Yemen, which have killed thousands of civilians over the last year and a half, and which are fueling increasing international condemnation.
Though US officials occasionally issue statements urging “all sides” to stop killing civilians, they continue to support the Saudis more or less unconditionally. In the course of Kerry’s comments, he quickly shifted focus away from Yemen and angrily condemning Iran as a “threat to the United States,” comments which always play well to a Saudi audience.