Remember the war in Yemen? The US Air Force is there.
01 March 2016 6:06 pm
Much has been made of the Saudi Arabians killing civilians in Yemen in their war against the Houthis. The latest raid saw Saudi Arabia bombing a busy market in Yemen, killing at least 30 people in the latest alleged atrocity in its controversial air campaign. Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition in support of the Hadi government, waging a campaign of air strikes against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
The United Nations says the war has resulted in the deaths of over 2500 civilians, including hundreds of women and children.
While Riyadh has come under fierce criticism from human rights groups, some of that blame should land at Washington’s feet: the daily bombing campaign would not be possible without the constant presence of U.S. Air Force tanker planes refueling coalition jets, and the billions worth of precision-guided munitions sold to Riyadh and its allies by American defense contractors.
As reported here, American planes began taking off in support of the campaign on April 5, less than two weeks after the bombs started falling in Yemen in late March. As of Nov. 13, U.S. tankers have flown 471 refueling sorties to top off the tanks of coalition warplanes 2,443 times, according to numbers provided by the Defense Department. The American flights have totaled approximately 3,926 flying hours while delivering over 17 million lbs. of fuel.
The US Air Force has been there all along.
"We've flown 709 sorties involving 3,720 receivers," Air Force Maj. Timothy Smith, spokesman for the command, told Air Force Times. "And we've offloaded 26,591,200 pounds of fuel" to foreign aircraft, he said.