US Continues to Increase Involvement in Saudi Air War in Yemen

US Refueling Allows Saudi Bombers to Stay in the Air Longer

The US doesn’t necessarily like to brag about their involvement in the Saudi invasion of Yemen, given the massive civilian death toll of the Saudi airstrikes and the growing international disquiet about the humanitarian crisis the war has led to. Still, US involvement is increasing, not decreasing.

New data from the Air Force showed a 50% increase in the number of in-air refueling sorties US planes have flown in the past year, over the first year of the war, with officials confirming over 7,500 “refueling events” with Saudi planes, transferring 54 million pounds of fuel.

This has been common in US-backed air wars, as the US has much more in-air refueling capacity than other nations. The refueling allows Saudi warplanes to remain in the air over Yemen much longer without going back to refuel, letting them launch more strikes.

All of this just adds to American complicity in the massive number of civilians the Saudi airstrikes have killed, which was already a problem because the Saudis were flying American-made planes and dropping American-made bombs. That the US is also directly fueling the planes just further undercuts the claims the US is trying to broker peace in Yemen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of