US praises Saudi-led coalition in Yemen

Published November 11th, 2015 - 12:00 GMT

A US general says he is impressed with the Saudi-led coalition’s work in Yemen.

Lt. Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr, Commander of the US Air Forces Central Command, at the Dubai Airshow on Tuesday said he has been “impressed with the GCC nations and every nation in the coalition” fighting the Iran-backed Al Houthi takeover in Yemen. “We’re both of the same mind set,” he said.

Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition in Yemen, aided by the US, against the Al Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, to restore the internationally recognised government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that are participating in the coalition are the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.

The US has been providing the coalition with weaponry, intelligence and logistics support. 

“There is a mix of GCC [nations] that participate in Yemen and in our operations in Iraq and Syria, less so since March because they have been occupied more with the Yemen [conflict],” he told reporters at a press conference.

He was accompanied by Deborah Lee James, the US Air Force Secretary, who said that the US, which is leading a 60-nation coalition, is making progress in defeating terror group Daesh in Syria and Iraq.

“It’s going to take years... So far, we have collectively pushed [Daesh] back in terms of the territory that they have occupied. We have hit them in terms of command and control centres, as well as training sites; we’ve hit equipment and storage areas... we have also been attacking their sources of revenue,” she said.

The Obama administration announced about two weeks ago the deployment of up to 50 special operations troops to Syria to train non-government militia fighting Daesh.

After visiting the UAE, James said that she will head to Morocco and Egypt, and visit US airmen in the region, including in Kuwait, Qatar, and Djibouti, where she will sit down for bilateral talks.

By Sarah Algethami

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