U.S. State Department Legal Adviser Indicates Saudi Arabia Could Be Violating U.S. Law By Blocking Yemen Aid; Hundreds Call For Action By U.S., U.K., France

Foreign Policy: Trump Nominee Concedes Saudi Siege of Yemen Could Be Violating U.S. Law
“U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick for the top legal adviser at the State Department has acknowledged that Saudi Arabia could be violating U.S. and international law by restricting the flow of humanitarian aid in Yemen, highlighting what appears to be an increasingly tough administration stance toward Riyadh. In written answers to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month before her confirmation Tuesday, Jennifer Newstead moved away from the State Department’s previous policy and indicated a stricter reading of statutes that prohibit American assistance to foreign countries blocking or hindering the flow of humanitarian aid, Foreign Policy has learned…” (De Luce, 12/19).

The Hill: U.S. renews call for aid to enter Yemen in wake of Houthi missile launch
“The U.S. reiterated on Tuesday its call to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid into Yemen after the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels there said the group had fired a ballistic missile toward Riyadh. Heather Nauert, a spokeswoman for the State Department, condemned the missile launch in a statement, calling on the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels to cease hostilities and end the conflict that has plunged Yemen further into humanitarian crisis…” (Greenwood, 12/19).

The Hill: Hundreds demand U.S., U.K., French action to end Yemen civil war
“More than 350 international politicians, celebrities, Nobel laureates, and other prominent figures signed a statement Tuesday demanding U.S., U.K., and French action to end the Yemeni civil war. ‘The U.S., U.K., and France, as permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and major weapons suppliers to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, bear a special responsibility to use the full extent of their leverage to press their partners in the region to end the crisis,’ read the statement, dubbed ‘A global call to President Trump, Prime Minister May, and President Macron’…” (Kheel, 12/19).

New York Times: Rebels in Yemen Fire Second Ballistic Missile at Saudi Capital
“Rebels in Yemen fired a ballistic missile on Tuesday at Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, for a second time in two months, though Saudi officials said that it had been intercepted and that there were no casualties. … The Saudis are at the forefront of a coalition that has been waging a bombing campaign in Yemen for two and a half years against the rebels, known as the Houthis, that has contributed to a humanitarian crisis that United Nations officials consider among the worst in the world…” (Hubbard/Cumming-Bruce, 12/19).

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