US Says Raising Pressure on Saudi Arabia Over Qatar and Yemen

US wants Saudis to 'wind down' isolation of Qatar

The White House is still “weighing options” on what to do about Saudi Arabia murdering US permanent resident Jamal Khashoggi. President Trump clearly isn’t inclined to do very much, but that doesn’t mean some pressure won’t come to bear.

Officials are already reporting some minor pressure on the Saudis, centered on 16-months of Saudi isolation of Qatar, a vital US ally. Administration officials are reportedly urging the Saudis to quickly resolve Qatar.

Officials also say they want the Saudis to take certain unspecified “steps” on the wildly unpopular war in Yemen. The US has been getting a lot of flack for backing that Saudi war, and the Saudis are committing a lot of war crimes.

This has long been a low priority for the administration, but with many in Congress already concerned about the Yemen war crimes and US culpability, the sudden addition of the scandal around Khashoggi’s murder may oblige at least some effort to improve the situation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of