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US Reaffirms Importance of Saudi Security in Wake of Houthi Barrage
Inset: Press secretary Jen Psaki takes questions during a briefing, Feb. 1, 2021, at the White House, Washington, DC, USA. (Official White House Photo by Chandler West)

US Reaffirms Importance of Saudi Security in Wake of Houthi Barrage

The United States on Monday stressed its commitment to Saudi Arabia’s security, following the massive missile attack leveled against the kingdom by Yemen-based Houthi forces the previous day. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Washington was “alarmed by the frequency” of these strikes. “We understand that [the Saudis] face genuine security threats from Yemen and others in the region. … We will look for ways to improve support for Saudi Arabia’s ability to defend its territory against threats.” On Sunday, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who are battling a Saudi-led coalition of states over control of Yemen, fired more than 20 missiles and explosives-laden drones at Saudi oil facilities. Riyadh officials said the majority of projectiles were intercepted and that no damage was done. Last month, President Joe Biden revoked the designation of the Houthi movement as a terrorist organization, reversing a decision made by his predecessor in his last day in office, while also halting all support for Saudi coalition operations in Yemen. Washington has since placed sanctions on two senior Houthi commanders, as it looks to secure a diplomatic resolution of the Yemeni civil war. “Escalating attacks like these are not the actions of a group that is serious about peace,” Psaki concluded on Monday.

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