U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis met on Wednesday with Saudi officials. American officials suggested as the meeting took place that the U.S. might provide additional military and intelligence assistance to the Saudis.
|Mattis made a two-day trip to the Saudi capital Riyadh. He called for a political solution to the war against the rebel Houthis supported by forces loyal to the former president Saleh. The war has lasted more than two years. However, he also said that military pressure might be needed to help end the conflict. The war began when Houthi rebels from the north backed by Iran and also former president Saleh drove then leader Mansour Hadi from the capital Sanaa in February of 2015. Hadi went into exile in Saudi Arabia. However, a coalition led by the Saudis and supported by many Gulf States, the U.S., the U.K., and Canada have managed to retake much of the south of Yemen including the port of Aden where the former government now is established again. The conflict has not only created a humanitarian disaster with many displaced internally and externally but has allowed the radical Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to thrive and take control of more territory. Athough it has primarily fought against the Houthis often in cooperation with local Sunni tribes it also opposes and has attacked the Hadi government both before the civil war and since.|