US Warns Saudis After Deadly Strike in Yemen

American aid 'not a blank check'
By Daniel Kay,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2016 4:52 PM CDT
US Warns Saudis After Deadly Strike in Yemen
A man takes photos of the damage caused by a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016.   (AP Photo/Osamah Abdulrhman)

US officials are threatening to cut off aid after a deadly airstrike linked to Saudi Arabia killed 140 and wounded more than 500 at a funeral in Yemen's capital city of Sanaa. The airstrike on Saturday targeted the funeral of a Yemeni official's father, Reuters reports. According to Al-Jazeera, many high-level figures from Yemen's Houthi-led government were in attendance—some are among the dead and more are still missing. Blame for the airstrike has fallen on the Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015. Saudi forces categorically denied participation in the attack, saying their troops had instructions not to target populated areas.

Nonetheless, the Saudis agreed to cooperate on an investigation after US officials expressed their displeasure. "US security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank check," said US National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price. "In light of this and other recent incidents, we have initiated an immediate review of our already significantly reduced support to the Saudi-led coalition." The tiny Gulf nation of Yemen has been in the throes of a civil war for well over a year. (More Saudi Arabia stories.)

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