US rejects repeated UAE requests for military help

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. has rejected three separate requests from the United Arab Emirates for military assistance in the Saudi-led coalition attack on the Yemeni port of Hodeida, a senior UAE official said Thursday.

The official said that the Trump administration denied the requests within the past 24 hours as a UAE operation to wrest control of the port from Iranian-backed Shiite rebels got underway. The rejected requests were for aerial satellite imagery, other surveillance and reconnaissance, and minesweeping, said the official, who wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.

According to the official, the minesweeper request, which was made because the coalition believes the Houthi rebels have been placing mines in the port, was redirected to France, which agreed.

The U.S. has not publicly opposed the assault but has urged the coalition to ensure that humanitarian aid deliveries to the port continue.

An administration official acknowledged that the coalition would like the U.S. to get more involved militarily in the battle to free the port, but so far that has not happened. The U.S. official was not authorized to comment publicly on the matter and also requested anonymity.

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