Close on the heels of killing of Saudi Arabian Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the tensions between United States and Saudi Arabia have further spiked as Saudi-UAE coalition asked Washington to end the inflight refuelling in war-torn Yemen.
Riyadh is facing global furore and potential sanctions over the murder of journalist Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate on Oct 2.
Recently, the Saudi-led coalition independently conducted inflight refuelling in Yemen bolstering their support mechanism. Saudi Arabia said in a statement that coalition countries aim to improve their military professionalism and self-sufficiency.
Consequently, the coalition in consultation with the States has requested the cessation of inflight refueling support for its operations in Yemen, the statement read.
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) November 10, 2018
According to a New York Times report, Saudi Arabia had been paying the USA for the refuelling. But there are no details on the cost that was agreed upon.
Jim Mattis, USA Defense Secretary said, “the U.S. and the coalition are planning to collaborate on building up legitimate Yemeni forces to defend the Yemeni people, secure their country’s borders, and contribute to counter al-Qaida and ISIS efforts in Yemen and the region.”
US supports Saudi decision “to use the Coalition’s own military capabilities to conduct inflight refueling in support of its operations in Yemen,” says Defense Secretary Mattis. https://t.co/rn5dOxHYgx pic.twitter.com/XvSdmMWvkD
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) November 10, 2018
“The U.S. will also continue working with the Coalition and Yemen to minimize civilian casualties and expand urgent humanitarian efforts throughout the country”, he added.
Earlier the relations between the two countries had been amicable as Saudi Arabia was the first country to be visited by US President Donald Trump after he was elected to the office.