Saudi Arabia Limits U.S. Military Action in Yemen


Saudi Arabia has implemented restrictions on U.S. military operations launched from its territory against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, a U.S. defense official told Sky News Arabia.

The limitations reportedly include confining American aircraft refueling to designated Saudi military airbases, and barring the use of Saudi-based missile defense systems against the Houthis. Saudi Arabia has not yet commented on these claims.

This development comes amid heightened tensions in the Red Sea. Riyadh has notably opted out of joining the U.S.-led coalition against the Houthis since the recent escalation began.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has reportedly bolstered its missile defenses on Socotra Island, apparently anticipating potential Houthi attacks on American outposts in the region.

This move is believed to counter the threat of Houthi long-range missiles, which continue to target Israeli, American, and British vessels.

The Houthi attacks on Israeli-linked ships commenced in November 2023 as a response to the conflict in Gaza. Tensions escalated further in January 2024 with U.S. and U.K. airstrikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, prompting the group to retaliate by targeting American and British ships.

It’s noteworthy that Saudi Arabia and the Houthis engaged in talks in 2023 aimed at ending their long-running conflict that began in 2015. Concerns are mounting that Saudi involvement in renewed U.S. action against the Houthis could reignite the war.

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