Jim Mattis in UAE, holds talks after warning over Yemen

A few days after Pentagon Chief and US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis had warned UAE that US support for the Yemen offensive led by Saudi-UAE alliance was not unconditional and can be withdrawn, Mattis held talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in UAE. The warning had come after an international response to end the air raids in Yemen after the latter had led to death of dozens of children.

As per UN, 26 children had been killed in the rebel-held area of Hodeidah in twin missile strikes on August 23 while 40 children and 51 civilians were killed in a strike in Saada province on August 9.

US support involves information about targeting, aerial refuelling and even intelligence. Mattis stated that US acknowledges tragedies have taken place and it is working with the alliance to improve its targeting ability. He reiterated that US support is not unconditional and it always tries to keep the killing of innocents to a minimum number.

The Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Zayed, tweeted that the meeting involved talks about improving the defence and military ties and other matter of mutual interest without giving any further details.

Yemen is faced with a worse humanitarian crisis ever since the Houthis overtook the country in 2014. Latter were blamed to be proxies of Iran by Saudi Arabia and thus latter and Arab allies launched huge offensive in Yemen to wrestle back the territories occupied by Houthis and reinstate the exiled Prime Minister. Iran denied any involvement in the conflict.

UN estimates state that nearly 10000 people have been killed in the conflict and more than 22 million people have been displaced.

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