Dec 14, 2019 12:33 UTC
  • Three Saudi soldiers killed near Yemeni border as US pushes for more arms sales

Three Saudi soldiers have been killed near border with Yemen in what is believed to be retaliatory attacks launched by Yemeni fighters into the kingdom.

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Saturday that one officer and two soldiers had been slain in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Jizan region. However, it  did not provide details about the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

Yemeni fighters regularly target positions inside Saudi Arabia in retaliatory attacks against a protracted Saudi offensive on the import-dependent state.

Saudi Arabia and a coalition of its vassal states launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall a Riyadh-backed former regime and eliminate Ansarullah movement, which has been defending the country along with the armed forces.

The military aggression, coupled with a naval blockade, has killed hundreds of thousands of people and plunged Yemen into the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Despite the dire situation in Yemen, the administration of US President Donald Trump pushes for more arms sales to the Saudi regime.

Earlier this week, the US House of Representatives passed an annual defense authorization bill, which was stripped of proposals that would have been tough on Saudi Arabia.

Three congressional sources familiar with the legislation told CNN that the removal of those measures was spearheaded by congressional Republicans leading the negotiations, who found themselves under pressure from the White House.

The bill contains cuts to provisions that would have banned the sale of weapons like precision-guided munitions to Riyadh and the sharing of intelligence and logistical support that the Saudis use in Yemen.

Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, was one of the White House negotiators who advocated against any tough stance on Saudi measures, two of the sources said.

"This is a President who has a Saudi Arabia first foreign policy," said New Jersey Democratic Representative Tom Malinowski. "This is a President who is mysteriously submissive to (Mohammed bin Salman), to the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, whose first instinct whenever Saudi Arabia does anything contrary to US interests is to defend the Saudis rather than defending America. That makes me very, very angry."

The bill is expected to be approved by the Senate next week before being signed into law by Trump.

In an interview with al-Thawra newspaper on Saturday, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen, described the US as the "true supporter" of the Yemen war continuation.

The US is killing the Yemeni nation and sabotaging the peace process, he said, adding that Trump is against peace as he believes that the war is necessary for milking Saudi Arabia.

On Friday, Yemenis held protests against the Saudi and US atrocities in the provinces of Sana'a, Hudaydah and Ibb.

According to the al-Masirah TV channel, the demonstrators in Sana'a stressed that they do not surrender in the face of the crimes committed by the aggressor regimes and will foil the enemies' plots.