President Biden’s secretary of state-nominee, Antony Blinken, said on Tuesday that the Biden administration will work quickly to end US involvement in the war in Yemen.
“The President-elect has made clear that we will end our support for the military campaign led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, and I think we will work on that in very short order,” Blinken said during his Senate confirmation hearing.
Blinken also said during the hearings that the Biden administration will “immediately” review the Trump administration’s designation of Yemen’s Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization. Calls are growing for President Biden to reverse the designation, and the UN and aid groups are warning of the mass starvation it will cause.
The US-backed Saudi-led coalition first intervened in Yemen in March 2015. As deputy secretary of state in April 2015, Blinken announced that the US was expediting weapons deliveries and bolstering intelligence sharing with the Saudis. Since then, the coalition has regularly bombed civilian targets, including food supplies, leading to widespread food shortages and mass starvation.
The Trump administration gave full-throated support to the Saudi coalition in its war in Yemen despite its pattern of bombing civilians. In 2019, President Trump vetoed a War Powers Resolution that called for an end to US involvement in the war.