The United States approved the announcement of Riyadh on the refueling of its aircraft, used to fight the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which fights the Houthi rebels in Yemen, believes it is self-sufficient. He called on the United States to stop refueling its aircraft, the Saudi official agency announced on Saturday.
"The Kingdom and the Coalition have recently increased their capacity to autonomously conduct air-to-air refueling in Yemen"says the official news agency SPA. "As a result, in consultation with the United States, the Coalition has requested cessation of in-flight refueling support for its operations in Yemen." Saudi Arabia and other coalition members, supportive forces loyal to Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, "They continually seek to improve their military professionalism and self-sufficiency"says the Saudi agency.
Hours later, Washington confirmed the announcement of Riyadh. "We support the decision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, after consultations with the US government, to use the military capabilities of the Coalition to conduct refueling in support of its operations in Yemen"The US Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, said in a statement released in Washington.
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Fatal fights in Hodeida
Following the failure of a UN mediation in September to find a political solution, the coalition announced the resumption of the assault on the strategic port Hodeida, in western Yemen, which intensified 1st November. The battle to reconquer Hodeida from the rebels – who have control of the city since 2014 – threatens the peace efforts of the United States and the United Nations, which hopes to be able to convene the talks by the end of the year.
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The fighting in this strategic city was particularly deadly on Friday, with strong resistance from the Houthi rebels who try to slow down the pro-government forces by any means. For the first time, Thursday, loyalist troops, supported by Saudi air raids, entered the city where they advanced a few kilometers from the south and east to the port. In response, the Houthi rebels, whose leader had promised that his men would fight to the end, intensified their counterattacks to slow their progress.
The fighting of the last 24 hours in Hodeida left 110 dead among the rebels, according to medical sources. A military leader of the Loyalist forces reported 22 deaths among pro-government fighters. This new record brings to 382 the number of fighters on both sides who have been killed by 1st November.
"The Coalition Command expresses the hope that the next negotiations conducted by the UN in a third country will lead to a negotiated solution" conflict, also reports SPA. The coalition "He hopes to see the end of the aggression of Houthi militias supported by Iran against the Yemeni people and against the countries of the region, including the threat of ballistic missiles and drones".