U.S. certifies Saudi, UAE actions safeguarding Yemen civilians despite mounting humanitarian crisis

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-13 00:21:55|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday that he had certified to Congress that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are undertaking actions to protect civilians in Yemen where the ongoing war has led to deaths of over 10,000 people.

Pompeo told Congress on Tuesday that "the governments of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from military operations of these governments," according to a statement released by the U.S. State Department on Wednesday.

U.S. Congress has required Pompeo to certify before Wednesday if Saudis and UAE are making moves to mitigate civilian casualties and maintain humanitarian aid amid concerns over the escalating humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

The top U.S. diplomat's certification was seen as clearing the way for Washington to continue supporting its Riyadh ally.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis backed Pompeo's conclusion, according to a statement released by the Pentagon on Wednesday.

Washington's decision, possibly to be seriously scolded by human rights groups, came after the Saudi-led coalition acknowledging that their air strikes killed dozens of civilians including children in August.

Saudi Arabia leads an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Iran-backed Houthi rebels forced him into exile.

The war has since killed more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, and displaced around three million, triggering the world's most humanitarian crisis in the poor Arab country.