Saudi Arabia Calls for US To ‘Avoid Escalation’ in Yemen

The US and UK hit Yemen with dozens of bombs, and Houthis vow to respond

Saudi Arabia is asking the White House to show restraint in Yemen and avoid further escalating fighting with the Houthis. Riyadh is one of Washington’s closest partners in the Middle East and has been at war with the Houthis for nine years but is nearing an agreement to end the war with Saana.

On Thursday, the US and UK targeted 16 sites in Yemen with at least 60 rockets and missiles. Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder claimed the strikes had a “good effect.” Yemeni officials say the bombs did minor damage and killed five figures. Houthi leaders pledged to respond to the US and UK attacks.

A White House statement after the attack warned that Biden “will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce, as necessary.” However, Saudi Arabia expressed “great concern” about the Western airstrikes and called for “self-restraint and to avoid escalation.”

Riyadh is one of Washington’s core partners in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia went to war with Yemen in 2015 after the Houthis seized power. The US backed the Saudi war in Yemen, providing Riyadh with weapons, intelligence, and logistical support in the war.

The Saudi war in Yemen targeted large portions of Yemen’s civilian infrastructure, creating a grave humanitarian crisis. At least 377,000 Yemenis died in the Saudi-led war. Contributing to the starvation that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of children was a blockade of Yemen, enforced by the US and Saudi Arabia.

A ceasefire brought cross-border attacks between Saudi Arabia and Yemen to an end in 2022. The UN reports that the Houthis are now nearing a peace agreement with Riyadh that would bring the war to a conclusion. If the US continues to strike Yemen by hitting targets in the Middle East and East Africa, including those in Saudi Arabia, this may well bring the fragile truce in Yemen to an end.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.