Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to Saudi Arabia as the Obama administration faces increasing pressure for its support of the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Over the past two weeks, the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition has bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital, killing 19 people, and bombed two schools in northern Yemen, killing at least 14 children. Doctors Without Borders has since announced it will withdraw staff from six hospitals in the north of the country. U.S. support to the Saudis includes refueling their jets in midair and assisting with target selection. The U.S. has also sold Saudi Arabia billions of dollars’ worth of weapons in recent years. In the last week, criticism of the U.S. role in Yemen has grown as it has been revealed that targets the U.S. had asked the Saudis not to strike had been hit anyway. The U.N. blames the Saudi-led coalition for the majority of the conflict’s thousands of civilian casualties. This is Sen. Chris Murphy speaking about the U.S. role in Yemen last week.
Sen. Chris Murphy: “There is an American imprint on every civilian life lost in Yemen. Why? Well, it’s because though the Saudis are actually dropping the bombs from their planes, they couldn’t do it without the United States. It’s our munitions, sold to the Saudis. It’s our planes that are refueling the Saudi jets. And it’s our intelligence that are helping the Saudis provide their targeting.”