U.S. to stop aerial refueling of Saudi coalition aircraft in Yemen

Men inspect a destroyed structure in Yemen.
A Hodeidah factory allegedly targeted by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in July. Photo: Abdo Hyder/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia will no longer receive aerial refueling assistance from the U.S. in Yemen, according to statements released by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday.

The big picture: Pressure has been building on the U.S.-Saudi relationship since the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the increased attention on the atrocities taking place in Yemen. The move comes as the U.N. envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths is working to gather the warring parties in Yemen for peace talks, which Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have thrown their support behind.

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Back in majority, House Democrats will shape national security agenda

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 23, 2018, with Adam Schiff and Eliot Engel. Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

Congressional Democrats are going to have a prime seat at the national security table for the first time in eight years. Poised to take control of critical House committees are Eliot Engel (Foreign Affairs), Adam Smith (Armed Services), Nita Lowey (Appropriations) and Adam Schiff (Intelligence).

What to watch: House Democrats will likely focus on defining policy differences with President Trump — on climate change, nuclear nonproliferation, international alliances and human rights. How they advance this agenda will have a decisive impact on whether Democrats can turn national security into a winning issue ahead of the 2020 elections.

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