19:32 GMT16 May 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States is working with Saudi Arabia to help the country defend itself while concurrently revitalizing diplomacy to end the conflict in Yemen, Defense Department spokesperson Jessica McNulty told Sputnik.

    "The United States is continuing to work together with our Saudi partners to help the Kingdom defend itself from external threats, while at the same time revitalizing diplomacy to end the Yemen conflict," McNulty said on Tuesday.

    McNulty emphasized that cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia by Houthis in Yemen contravene international law and undermine all efforts to promote peace and stability in the region.

    On Monday, the Houthi-run Al Masirah channel reported that the Houthis launched a massive operation on Saudi soil by using drones and ballistic missiles, targeting oil refineries and sensitive military sites. Seventeen drones were used when attacking the sites, Al Masirah said.
    Police troopers ride on the back of a patrol truck following a funeral of Houthi fighters killed during recent fighting against government forces at different fronts, in Sanaa, Yemen March 23, 2021
    © REUTERS / KHALED ABDULLAH
    Police troopers ride on the back of a patrol truck following a funeral of Houthi fighters killed during recent fighting against government forces at different fronts, in Sanaa, Yemen March 23, 2021

    In March, Saudi Arabia proposed a widespread UN-sponsored ceasefire in Yemen, noting that it was now awaiting a response from the Houthi movement. The Kingdom, fighting on the Yemeni government's side, has been conducting air, land and sea operations against the Houthi rebels since 2015. The Houthis control the capital of Sanaa and large areas in Yemen's north and west. 

    In February, US President Joe Biden announced that the war in Yemen must end, retracted US support for any offensive military operations in the country and appointed veteran diplomat Timothy Lenderking as his special envoy for Yemen. At the same time, Washington has continued to help Saudi Arabia defend itself against outside attacks after having temporarily frozen pending Trump-era arms sales to Riyadh in January.

    Since then, the Houthis have intensified attacks on Saudi territory with projectiles and bomber drones.

    Tags:
    Pentagon, diplomacy, US, Saudi Arabia
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