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    US Defense Secretary Ash Carter

    US Backs Joint Arab Military Force, Ready to Cooperate

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    US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that the United States has backed the Arab League's decision to create a joint military force to counter security threats in the Middle East, and will cooperate with it if need be.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United States has backed the Arab League's decision to create a joint military force to counter security threats in the Middle East, and will cooperate with it if need be, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said.

    A plan to set up a unified force amid the unfolding crisis in Yemen was announced Sunday at the 26th summit of Arab leaders in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

    "I think if they are willing to do more, in this case with respect to Yemen, then that is a good thing because ultimately it is their region," Carter told reporters at Fort Drum, as quoted by NBC, adding it was a "good thing."

    When asked if the Pentagon would work together with the Arab crisis-response force, Carter pointed to the bilateral security ties that already bind the United States and some of the Arab League nations, like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

    "These are partners and security allies of ours, and when they act in a way that we regard as in our interests as well as theirs we will continue to partner with them as we have been in other matters," the US defense secretary stressed.

    Starting Wednesday, a Saudi-led coalition of Gulf States has been dropping bombs on positions of anti-government Houthi forces in Yemen, with logistic and intelligence support from the United States. The operation has killed dozens of people, including civilians.

    Related:

    Arab League Military Force to Address Regional Security Challenges
    Arab League Summit Agrees on Unified Military Force
    Hadi Leaves Arab League Summit for Riyadh Amid Worsening Situation in Yemen
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    military forces, Arab League, Ashton Carter, United States
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