– On Thursday, the Trump administration told Congress it has approved a $1.3 billion artillery sale to Saudi Arabia. This is the second weapons deal between the U.S. and Riyadh in as many months and has sparked concern from human rights groups, who warn the deals may make the United States complicit in war crimes committed in the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen. Lawmakers have 30 days to act before the sale is final. The announcement comes as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wraps up his whirlwind tour of the United States. One topic that has received relatively little media attention during his trip is his role in escalating Saudi Arabia’s military involvement in Yemen. Last month marked three years since the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition began its military offensive in Yemen, leading to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led airstrikes and naval blockade have destroyed Yemen’s health, water and sanitation systems, sparking a massive cholera outbreak and pushing millions of Yemenis to the brink of starvation. More than 15,000 people have died since the Saudi invasion in 2015. We speak with Iona Craig, a journalist who was based in Sana’a between 2010 and 2015 as the Yemen correspondent for The Times of London.
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