Joe Biden ordered an end of US support for Saudi Arabia’s offensive in Yemen against the Houthi rebels. The war in Yemen began during the Obama administration. Iran and Saudi Arabia are seen as the real combatants in the conflict. Biden said the war must end:
This war has to end, and to underscore our commitment we are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arm sales.
Biden reassured the Saudis that the US will still support Saudi Arabia against assaults from Iranian forces:
At the same time, Saudi Arabia faces missile attacks, UAV (drone) strikes and other threats from Iranian-supplied forces in multiple countries. We’re going to continue to support and help Saudi Arabia defend its sovereignty and its territorial integrity and its people.”
Timothy Lenderking, a career foreign service officer, was appointed as US Special Envoy to Yemen by Biden to help “end the war in Yemen, a war that created humanitarian and strategic catastrophe.”
Lenderking served as deputy assistant Secretary of State for Iran, Iraq, and Regional Multilateral Affairs in the Near East Bureau at the U.S. Department of State during the Trump administration.
According to The Independent, the nearly six-year war has devastated Yemen: Tens of thousands of civilians have died in the nearly six-year conflict in the poorest Arab country between the Houthis, a rebel group that controls much of the countryside, and a Saudi-led coalition backing the internationally recognized government in Aden.
The civil war in Yemen became a proxy war between regional powerhouses. Iran backs the Houthi rebels who are Shiite Muslims, and Saudi Arabia backs the Yemen government, which is Sunni Muslim. More than 127,000 people have been killed, and the conflict has displaced millions.
The Trump administration designated the Houthis a terrorist organization and imposed sanctions effective January 19, 2021. Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that Ansarallah (the Houthis) deserved the designation because of their behavior: “If Ansarallah did not behave like a terrorist organization, we would not designate it as one.”
It is unknown if Iran will end their support for the Houthis.