State Dept: Ending Yemen War ‘Sends a Wrong Message’

Officials insist support for Saudi war is 'necessary'

With a motion to proceed on the Senate vote on the Yemen War expected Wednesday, the US State Department are continuing to push against the resolution, insisting that the administration “strongly opposes” the idea of ending the war.

The administration’s argument for this is a bit vague, with Deputy Assistant Secretary for Gulf Affairs Timothy Lenderking saying they believe it “sends a wrong message” to the world, and that the Saudis need to be supported.

Why the US has an interest in this war, above and beyond traditional US military support for Saudi Arabia, remains largely unspoken by the administration. Some State Department officials have tried to parrot the Saudi narrative that the other side in Yemen are Shi’ites, and therefore tantamount to Iranians.

In practice US officials have previously argued that support for the Saudi war in Yemen was basically “customer support” for Saudi customers who bought all those US-made weapons for the war. President Trump has been clear that continuing Saudi arms sales are the top priority, which is reflected in the desire to support the war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of