Statement by Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis on Refueling Saudi Coalition Aircraft
Statement by Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis
We support the decision by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, after consultations with the U.S. Government, to use the Coalition’s own military capabilities to conduct inflight refueling in support of its operations in Yemen. We are all focused on supporting resolution of the conflict, led by UN Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths. The U.S. and the Coalition are planning to collaborate on building up legitimate Yemeni forces to defend the Yemeni people, secure their country’s borders, and contribute to counter Al Qaeda and ISIS efforts in Yemen and the region. The U.S. will also continue working with the Coalition and Yemen to minimize civilian casualties and expand urgent humanitarian efforts throughout the country. Recognizing continued bipartisan interest from Congress, the Administration is appreciative of the continued dialogue we have had with key members on this issue and look forward to working together to support the United Nations’ ongoing efforts on this new phase in Yemen.