March 7-14: MbS visits UK, Trump fires Tillerson


CNN highlighted the recently introduced Senate Joint Resolution 54 as a long overdue effort to end US support to the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman embarked on a controversial three-day visit to the United Kingdom that was met with widespread protests over the ongoing Saudi military campaign in Yemen. During this visit, UK Prime Minister Theresa May urged the Saudis to allow full humanitarian access in Yemen.


A coalition airstrike in Sa’dah killed a woman and a young girl, and injured several children from the same family. Furthermore, the Saudi Joint Incident Assessment Team, a panel set up by the Saudis to investigate civilian casualties, claimed that airstrikes in 2017 were carried out in accordance with international humanitarian law. The UN Panel of Experts and other researchers have proved repeatedly that strikes cleared by JIAT have in fact killed civilians in violation of IHL.

Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Jean Shaheen (D-NH) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 55, a measure designed to sabotage the vote on S.J.Res.54. This resolution would ostensibly place conditions on US refueling for coalition warplanes, but is written in such a way that it would have no practical effect.


Despite Prime Minister Theresa May articulating concerns over human rights abuses, on the last day of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit, the United Kingdom announced the sale of 48 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia.

The Brookings Institution argued that Senate Joint Resolution 54 will not prevent the White House and the Department of Defense from continuing to support the Saudi-led Coalition.


The United Nations Security Council is expected to release a draft resolution that will stress the need to protect humanitarian aid workers in Yemen, as well as condemn Houthi ballistic missiles.


In an interview with Asharq al Awsat, US Ambassador to Yemen Matthew Tueller asserted that Saudi Arabia as well as the United Arab Emirates were cooperating with the US to counter terrorist organizations in Yemen. He also asserted that the Houthis were a corrupt group that will not gain any sympathy from the United States.

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis met with the Sultan of Oman in Muscat today. Mattis told reporters that he and the sultan would discuss Iran’s arms smuggling operations in Yemen, among other matters. Mattis is also visiting Bahrain on this trip.


Saudi Arabia has deported at least 100,000 Yemeni laborers in recent months, and plans to deport more. In addition to the obviously disastrous impact of this influx on the Yemeni economy and humanitarian situation, The Independent reports that many of these returnees have joined, or are likely to join, fighting groups including the Houthi forces and AQAP.


Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing of a kitchen used by southern security forces in Aden. The blast killed seven people, including civilians.

US President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today, nominating CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace him. If Pompeo is confirmed, current CIA deputy director Gina Haspel will take over at CIA. Haspel formerly ran a CIA “black site,” and participated in the cover-up of torture by CIA officers. Pompeo is also an advocate of torture, and is violently anti-Muslim. Win Without War’s director, Stephen Miles, issued a statement outlining many organization’s objections to Pompeo’s nomination.