White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Thursday that the Biden administration will no longer support offensive operations in Yemen.
The Saudi Arabia-Iran proxy war has left tens of thousands dead and hundreds of thousands at risk of disease and starvation. In 2018, graphic photos from a hospital in Yemen treating stick-thin starving children and their weeping, worn parents prompted international outcry.
On the campaign trail, Biden vowed to end U.S. participation in the war, in contrast to Trump. The former president, a staunch ally of Saudi Arabia, sold billions of weaponry to the Gulf state, and vetoed bipartisan Congressional resolutions calling to stop providing weapons to the Saudis.
Sullivan said a Trump-approved weapons sale will be canceled, but the administration has not made a decision regarding arms sales to the UAE, Axios reported.
“We have spoken with both senior officials in the UAE and senior officials in Saudi Arabia,” Sullivan said. “We have consulted with them. We are pursuing a policy of no surprises when it comes to these types of actions so they understand that this is happening and they understand our reasoning and rationale for it.”
He said American officials are in conversation with allies regarding Iran policy. “We are actively engaged with the EU right now, particularly Germany, UK and France. Those consultations will produce unified front when it comes to our strategy toward Iran and diplomacy around the nuclear file.”