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A tribesman loyal to Houthi rebels in Sanaa, Yemen, Photo: Hani Mohammed / AP

Jamie McGoldrick, U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, recently told NPR that the war in Yemen has led to "the largest humanitarian crisis in the world." Widespread hunger has contributed to a massive cholera outbreak, per the Guardian, and Saudi-led airstrikes have continuously led to civilian casualties, including children.

Why it matters: The U.S. has backed Saudi Arabia throughout the war in Yemen, and in June the first installment of a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudis was approved after they assured the U.S they were making changes to avoid civilian casualties.

But: According to a September Human Rights Watch report, 39 civilians — 26 of them children — were killed in airstrikes between June 9 and August 4. Foreign Policy reports "there is no evidence that Saudi Arabia has reined in its air campaign."

Saudi Arabia's assurances to the U.S., per the HRW report:

  • Abiding by stricter rules of engagement.
  • Taking civilian harm estimates into consideration when targeting enemies.
  • Allowing U.S. advisers to sit in on air operations.
  • Bringing the total number of locations on the "no-strike list" to 33,000.
  • Engaging in a multiyear training program with the U.S., costing $750 million, on avoiding civilian casualties, human rights issues, and more.

Why you'll hear about this again: The House voted in July on amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act that would require the administration to cease aerial refueling for Saudi and coalition aircraft, sharing intelligence, and lending other military support. While the NDAA was passed through the senate, these particular amendments are not yet confirmed to be included in the final bill.

The bottom line: Both the Trump and Obama administrations have continued support of Saudi Arabia engaging in arms deals and training programs despite longstanding criticisms of the Saudi's actions in Yemen. Retired CIA officer, Bruce Riedel, told Foreign Policy that for every administration, Yemen hasn't mattered enough: "It's more important to them to have good relations with the Saudis, and the Yemenis get sacrificed on this."

A U.S. defense official told Foreign Policy the U.S. was no longer involved with coordinating airstrikes.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
18 mins ago - Technology

Israel's new PM Naftali Bennett made his name as a millionaire tech founder

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

Naftali Bennett yesterday became prime minister of Israel, succeeding Benjamin Netanyahu, after his power-sharing government survived a vote of confidence.

Why it matters: Bennett becomes Israel's first new prime minister since 2009, and he takes office as Netanyahu stands trial for corruption.

1 hour ago - World

Biden at NATO summit: Collective defense is a "sacred obligation"

President Joe Biden is greeted by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO summit. Photo: Patrick Semansky/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden reaffirmed the United States' commitment to NATO during a sit-down with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the president's first meeting of NATO's 2021 summit in Brussels.

Why it matters: Biden has used his first international trip as president to reassure allies of his administration's commitment to multilateralism and to NATO's Article 5, which stipulates that the entire alliance will respond to an attack on any member nation.

Climate reality collides with rhetoric at the G7 summit

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Leaders of the G7 agreed to a sweeping new agenda over the weekend. But while the communique they issued is lofty in goals, it lacks crucial details on climate.

Why it matters: The G7's paucity of specifics on climate finance and domestic coal consumption, in particular, calls into question the ability of the wealthiest nations to take sufficient action on global warming.