Washington, October 31: Days after sticking to the $110-billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia despite the controversial murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the United States is now pressing Riyadh for a ceasefire with the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Defence Secretary James Mattis told reporters in Washington that he has conveyed to the top leadership in KSA that they should agree to a ceasefire with the rebel government in Yemen. Trump Defends Decision to Continue Mega Arms Deal With Saudi.
Over 30 nations have urged the United Nations to intervene in the Yemen war, calling it the "worst humanitarian crisis" of the decade. At least 6,600 civilians have been killed in the war, whereas, 14 million of Yemen's population has been pushed into famine.
The Saudi regime has been accused of bombing the areas inhabited by civilians, apart from imposing a sea-blockade which has virtually cut-off Yemen with most parts of the world.
Mattis said the US has directed Riyadh to exercise restraint and immediately halt the airstrikes in areas where there is a possibility of collateral damage.
Iran President Hassan Rouhani had recently charged the Kingdom of committing mass war crimes in Yemen since 2015. "The death of Jamal Khashoggi by the rogue regime has drawn condemnation from across the world. We also want to know why the allies of Saudi are silent on the death of thousands, including children, in Yemen," he had questioned.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has attempted to deflect the allegations of committing excesses in Yemen, claiming that the "terrorist regime of Houthis, if unchecked, would destabilise the entire region".