President Joe Biden is set to announce the end of American support for Saudi Arabia’s civil war in Yemen, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday.
The brutal conflict, between a Saudi-led coalition and Iran-backed Houthi rebels, has killed thousands and spread famine throughout Yemen since 2015. In 2019, Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution passed by both houses of Congress to end U.S. involvement in the war.
Sullivan said at a White House press conference that on Thursday Biden would “announce an end to American support for offensive operations in Yemen.”
“That is a promise that he made in the campaign that he will be following through on, but he will go further than that. He will talk about the United States playing a more active and engaged role in the diplomacy to bring an end to the conflict in Yemen, and that will include the naming of a special envoy which will happen today.”
The policy, according to Sullivan, “extends to the types of offensive operations that have perpetuated a civil war in Yemen that has led to a humanitarian crisis,” including a freeze on U.S. arm sales to Saudi Arabia that were approved by former President Donald Trump.
Sullivan added that the officials in the UAE and Saudi Arabia were alerted about the decision.
“We are pursuing a policy of no surprises when it comes to these types of actions,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan detailed several other priorities of the Biden administration’s foreign policy, including repealing the Trump travel ban and the ban on transgender servicemembers in the U.S. military.
Watch Sullivan discuss the decision above, via CNN.
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