Gulf States Seek Defence Deal With US After Houthi Attacks - Reports

© AFP 2023 / MOHAMMED HUWAISYemen's Houthi militants in Sanaa
Yemen's Houthi militants in Sanaa - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.03.2022
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A number of Persian Gulf monarchies are seeking a defence deal with the United States against the backdrop of increased attacks by the Houthi rebels on Emirati and Saudi infrastructure, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing sources in the know.
The Arab countries - in particular the UAE and Saudi Arabia - would ideally like to sign a formal treaty with the US, sources said, but are open to considering bilateral agreements that could be expanded and revised later. Gulf states are considering a UAE deal with France, under which the latter deployed Rafale fighter jets to help protect Emirati airspace in February following Houthi attacks, to be a possible model for an agreement with the US.
Earlier on Tuesday, the command of the Saudi-led Arab coalition announced the suspension of military operations in Yemen. The step is intended to promote inter-Yemeni talks and create a positive atmosphere during the holy month of Ramadan to establish peace and ensure security and stability in Yemen, it said.
The conflict between the Yemeni government forces and the Houthis has been going on since 2014. The situation was further aggravated in 2015 after a coalition led by Saudi Arabia joined the conflict on the Yemeni government's side and began conducting air, land and sea operations against the Islamist rebel movement. The Houthis often retaliate by firing projectiles and drones at Saudi and UAE oil facilities.
Earlier this month, the Houthis intensified their attacks after Saudi Arabia executed 81 people, including three Yemeni prisoners of war.
During a meeting with the Abu Dhabi crown prince on Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed US commitment to "helping the UAE defend itself against threats stemming from Yemen and elsewhere in the region," the State Department said.
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