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Saudi Arabia, UAE Governments Reduce Harm to Civilians in Yemen – Pompeo

© REUTERS / Faisal Al NasserSaudi army artillery fire shells towards Houthi positions from the Saudi border with Yemen April 13, 2015
Saudi army artillery fire shells towards Houthi positions from the Saudi border with Yemen April 13, 2015 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has certified that the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have made serious steps to ensure that civilians in Yemen are not harmed by their military operations in the country, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Wednesday.

"I certified to Congress yesterday that the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from military operations of these governments," Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo's decision to issue the certification ensures that the United States can continue to provide support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Had Pompeo chosen not to issue the certification, the newly passed legislation would have prevented US forces from continuing to refuel Saudi and UAE jets involved in military operations in Yemen.

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In his statement, Pompeo reiterated Washington’s view that ending the conflict in Yemen is a national security priority for the United States.

"We will continue to work closely with the Saudi-led coalition to ensure Saudi Arabia and the UAE maintain support for UN-led efforts to end the civil war in Yemen," he said.

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Pompeo also underscored the need to provide unimpeded access to humanitarian aid workers in Yemen and to take actions to mitigate the impact of the conflict on civilians.

Yemen is engulfed in an armed conflict between the government headed by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement, also known as Ansar Allah. The Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf nations has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request since March 2015.

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