U.S. Rationale for Navy Support to Saudis in Yemen Struggle Is Fraying
Second Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani from Saudi Arabia, a 21-year-old Al Qaeda loyalist, shot three US sailors and wounded eight others Last December, in a classroom building at a naval air station in Pensacola, Florida, he was enrolled in the program designed to teach Saudi pilots how to reduce civilian casualties, US officials said – a fact that has not yet been reported . The verification systems set up in the United States and Saudi Arabia after the September 11 attacks had not detected any warning signs surrounding Lieutenant Alshamrani.
Separately, the State Department, which began in the Obama administration, sent a senior official, Larry Lewis, on frequent trips to Saudi Arabia to advise on civil damage. But the Obama administration stopped his travels in late 2016 after starting a policy review in Yemen, and the next year Trump administration officials pushed him out of the agency.
In 2017, American officials called on the coalition to expand a list of non-strike locations in Yemen, including hospitals and refugee camps, to 33,000. However, Saudi officials did not consult the list, a 2018 United Nations report, and the pilots continued to hit the sites, Malinowski pointed out.
Even Mr Trump previously acknowledged the shortcomings of the Saudi pilots who were entrusted with the deadly weapons.
“They were basically people who didn’t know how to use the gun, which is awful,” he said after an American-made bomb hit a school bus in August 2018, killing at least 54 people, 44 of them children.
But American officials are doubling up on the Saudi partnership as their answer on how to address the moral and legal pitfalls of civil murders.
“We are leveraging our leverage and our close relationship with Saudi Arabia to provide training and coursework,” Timothy Lenderking, deputy assistant secretary for Gulf Arab affairs, told reporters last Thursday while he was using American weapons Recognized in the murders was a “big concern”.