A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns the militants had seized across Yemen and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.
The leader of Saudi Arabia promised President Donald Trump that he can raise oil production if needed and the country has 2 million barrels per day of spare capacity, the White House said on Saturday, rowing back on an earlier Trump tweet that appeared to suggest the Saudis had agreed to boost output by that amount.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Saturday night for the second day in a row with US negotiators Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, even as the Palestinian Authority continues to boycott the team and characterize them as 'spokespeople for the Israeli occupation' intent on normalizing 'Israeli apartheid.'
Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it had intercepted two missiles launched by Yemen’s Houthi militia over the capital Riyadh, as a Saudi-led coalition moved to wrest control of Yemen’s main port city from the Iran-aligned group.
Senior Trump administration officials will visit the Middle East next week to consult regional governments on their plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
White House special adviser Jared Kushner and US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt will reportedly travel to Israel and other Middle East countries next week for talks with regional leaders on when to present a Trump administration peace plan, as well as to seek ideas on resolving the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
Iran and Saudi Arabia were among the Middle Eastern countries whose records on religious freedom were severely criticized on Tuesday, with the publication of the US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2017.