Joe Biden to announce end to U.S. support for offensive military operations in Yemen

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President Biden will announce on Thursday a halt to U.S. support for the Saudi Arabian-led military campaign in Yemen, a top White House official said.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that Mr. Biden is announcing “an end to American support for offensive operations in Yemen” during a speech later in the day at the State Department.

Mr. Sullivan said the halt to offensive operations “does not extend” to U.S. military actions against the terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. 

Mr. Biden also will name veteran diplomat Timothy Lenderking as his special envoy for Yemen, where a six-year-long conflict has produced a humanitarian crisis. 

Mr. Sullivan said the president is directing the U.S. to “play a more active and engaged role in the diplomacy to bring an end to the conflict in Yemen.”

The president is under pressure from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party to end U.S. involvement in the conflict. The Congressional Progressive Caucus wants to repeal old authorizations for the use of military force in Yemen and Afghanistan.

It’s not clear what operations will be halted by Mr. Biden’s directive. The U.S. military stopped refueling for the Saudi-led coalition during the Trump administration. Current U.S. support includes some intelligence sharing.

Mr. Biden also is freezing the Trump plan to pull some U.S. troops out of Germany, Mr. Sullivan said.

He said the president will outline a “new commitment to multilateralism” in his speech.

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