US helps Saudi-led bombing missions in Libya

Ever since the Saudi-led bombing campaign began a year ago in late March, the Saudis and their allies have depended on U.S. tanker planes to refuel their aircraft while in flight,

Timothy Smith, spokesperson for the Air Forces Central Command(AFCENT) told the Air Force Times that the fueling continues: "We've flown 709 sorties involving 3,720 receivers, And we've offloaded 26,591,200 pounds of fuel" to foreign aircraft," AFCENT has been keeping track of its missions since April 3, 2015 shortly after the bombing campaign began. During the first few weeks a host of countries had jets involved in the bombing including Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE and other Gulf nations.
Houthi rebels captured much of western Yemen including the port of Aden before the bombing campaign began. The internationally recognized government of Manour Hadi fled into exile in Ryadh, Saudi Arabia. With the Saudi-led campaign, the Houthis were driven out of Aden and much of south western Yemen but still hold the capital and areas in the north west. The Hadi government has moved to Aden. The Houthis are Shia Muslims supported by Iran, hence the large contingent of Sunni Arab states supporting the campaign to reinstate the Hadi government. The Saudi-led campaign has displaced more than 2 million people and killed thousands, many civilians. While the number of attacks have declined they are still ongoing. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies said that while the air strikes are less frequent than they used to be, Sana'a, the capital, and the Taiz area as well as Marib are still hit on a semi-regular basis.
The Saudi-led bombing has been sharply criticized for bombing civilian targets and even medical facilities run by Doctors Without Borders. There was also a critical report from a UN panel. Usually, the Saudis simply deny accusations but they have now announced a "high-.level independent committee" to investigate the bombardments, which some rights groups have even termed war crimes. The coalition also said that it was establishing a hotline with Doctors Without Borders. Three of its facilities have been subject to attack in recent months.
The coalition has been accused of using cluster bombs a number of times, including on Sana'a, the capital controlled by the Houthi rebels. While the coalition denies using them, evidence seems to show they were used. Some of the cluster bombs appear to come from the U.S. While there is an international ban on cluster bombs neither the Saudis nor the Americans have signed on to the treaty.


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