09:46 GMT +327 March 2017
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    The skyline of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is seen at night in this aerial photograph from a helicopter.

    Saudi General Hails US Pledge to Boost Intel, Military Support Against Iran

    © AFP 2017/ SAUL LOEB
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    A top Saudi military general says the Trump Administration has vowed it will significantly increase US intelligence support and defense cooperation with Riyadh against “Iran-backed” Houthis in Yemen.

    Brig. Gen. Ahmed al-Asiri, who serves as an adviser to the kingdom's defense minister and a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, told reporters on Friday that Trump Administration officials had promised a Saudi delegation in Washington to increase cooperation in order to counter Iran.

    Asiri pointed out that the move would help restore the relationship between the two countries that was shattered during Barack Obama's presidency, apparently implying the nuclear deal with Iran and US blocking arms deals with Riyadh over concerns of human rights violations.

    Earlier in March, the State Department approved the resumption of weapons sales to Riyadh, thus signaling that the new US Administration would seek closer ties with the kingdom.

    Asiri's comments came in a week that saw President Trump host Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House.

    Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, who was part of the delegation, said on Thursday that the visit solidified the importance of the US-Saudi relationship, and that the two nations are fully aligned in confronting "Iranian aggression."

    "There is alignment on all of the major issues between the two governments, and it's been, I think, further helped by the personal bond that was created between his royal highness, the deputy crown prince, and President Trump," he told reporters.

    Saudi Arabia launched a military intervention in Yemen in 2015 with backing from a coalition of predominantly Arab nations, including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and others. Riyadh's aim is reportedly to restore the government in the country, but experts say it has developed into a proxy war between the Sunni Muslim monarchy and Shiite Iran.

    The UN has said that the Saudi-led coalition was responsible for nearly two thirds of almost 4,000 civilian Yemeni deaths between March 2015 and August 2016. Asiri denied that the bombings have resulted in human rights abuses and stressed that the US is not involved in the Saudi-led campaign.    

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    Tags:
    cooperation, Mohammed bin Salman, Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia, United States
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    • avatar
      Antares Prime
      Saudi Arabia is not a friend of the Americans, or of Christians of any kind, it is the enemy!
    • avatar
      terryjohnodgersin reply toAntares Prime(Show commentHide comment)
      Antares Prime, they are all the enemy.
    • avatar
      jas
      "Iranian aggression" with all of the violence and sadism from the US and KSA. What a joke.
    • avatar
      vigilante
      Counter Iran? Iranian aggression? Where? in Syria? In Yemen>
      The Saudis are paranoiac, They see that their military aggression on Syria using their salafist militias and their murderous bombing of Yemen had been a total failure.
      As terrified children would do they turn to Uncle Sam to be comforted. Trump looks at the money he can extract from these corrupted sheikhs and tell them to calm down...
      In fact the USA will do nothing new against Iran. It will advise Saudi Arabia to make peace with Israel and Saudi Arabia will become the target of extremists who have been brought up with the hatred of the Jews. Desperate and terrified by Iran's ideological propagation in the region , the Saudis may fall into that trap. If some country want to end of Saudi Arabia it should encourage it to make peace with Israel!
    • NATOisEVIL
      Donald the puppet continues with the big plan to take out those countries on the list.
    • avatar
      Marques rouges
      As if the US/lS/Saudis were not already aggressively cooperating against Iran...
    • avatar
      Marques rouges
      Drain the swamp, Simonian is a Jewish-Armenian name.
    • avatar
      wconell
      Are we filling or draining the swamp? Trump had better have a dang good reason for treason. It had better be a part of a "Master plan" we don't know about.
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