Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Norway suspends arms exports to Saudi Arabia over Yemen war

Norway suspends arms exports to Saudi Arabia over Yemen war

"We feel that the current situation above all else warrants a resolution that gives both the special envoy and OCHA the support they need to take a step towards ending the conflict in Yemen and the suffering of the Yemeni people", the trio said in an email to the council seen by AFP.

Global criticism of United States support for Saudi Arabia grew further following the killing of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The United States is halting refueling of aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen, Saudi Arabia said on Saturday, a move that would end one of the most divisive aspects of US assistance to the Saudi war effort. Turkey says Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered at the consulate in Istanbul by a 15-member assassination squad, including agents close to the prince. And with the election handing control of the US House to the Democrats, it becomes more likely that some retaliation against Saudi Arabia would gain traction on Capitol Hill. The Post first reported the Trump administration's desire to end the refueling.

Mattis said all parties support Griffiths' efforts.

Saudi Arabia has been paying the USA for the refueling, but there were no details on how much that cost.

US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity Friday to discuss the decision before its announcement, said the end to refueling wouldn't stop American training and military assistance.

Anti-war groups hailed the decision as a victory and called for the USA to go further in halting support for the campaign.

Still, a halt to refuelling could by itself have little practical effect on the war. Only a fifth of coalition aircraft require in-air refuelling from the United States, U.S. officials said. He said that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were taking adequate measures to minimize civilian deaths.

He suggested a continuing role for the United States in Yemen to help the Saudi-led coalition and Yemeni forces minimise civilian casualties and expand humanitarian efforts.

For its part, the Yemeni government warned from Houthi plots to bomb government buildings and national institutions like the Port of Hodeidah, and terrorist plans of targeting global maritime trade navigation at Bab al-Mandab and the south of the Red Sea, and bombing Safer Oil Tank at Ras Isa Port, which contains almost a million barrel of crude oil and can cause environment and economic catastrophe to Yemen and the regional countries. Several strikes in recent months have killed dozens of children.

In August this year, he warned that United States support for the coalition was "not unconditional", noting it must do "everything humanly possible to avoid any innocent loss of life".

The US has provided the Saudis and their UAE coalition partners with intelligence, aerial refueling and military advice, but US forces are not directly involved in the airstrikes or other aspects of the fighting. The conflict has plunged Yemen into a humanitarian crisis.

Despite this, and amid widespread calls from citizens and human rights groups, few Western countries have actually suspended arms agreements with the Saudi government.

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