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U.S. and Saudi Arabian flags. Photo: Ahmed Youssef Elsayed Abdelrehim/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A team of "about a dozen" Green Berets are aiding Saudi Arabia in its fight against the Houthis in Yemen, according to a New York Times report.

Why it matters: The Pentagon has been asserting that U.S. involvement is limited to things like information sharing and aircraft refueling. But the Times reports that the Green Berets "are training Saudi ground troops to secure their border," and "helping locate and destroy caches of ballistic missiles and launch sites” that the Houthis have used to attack Saudi Arabia.

The big picture: The war in Yemen is a primary driver of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, and the U.S. military appears to be more involved than originally explained.

  • Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, Pentagon spokeswoman told Axios: "The DOD's limited non-combat support, such as intelligence sharing, focuses on assisting our partners in securing their borders from cross-border attacks from the Houthis and improving coalition processes and procedures, especially regarding compliance with the law of armed conflict and best practices for reducing the risk of civilian casualties... We do not provide or vet Coalition targets, and there are currently no plans to provide offensive targeting support of any kind."
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, who introduced a resolution to pull U.S. support from the Saudis in Yemen's war, said in a statement to Axios: "[T]he article in today’s New York Times only adds to my strong concern that the Trump administration is getting the United States even more deeply involved in a war in Yemen without congressional authorization.  I will be seeking further clarification on these activities from the administration."

Go deeper

Supreme Court appears likely to roll back abortion rights

Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1, 2021. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed likely to weaken abortion rights, and perhaps to let states ban the procedure altogether.

The intrigue: The court seemed likely to throw out the framework established in Roe v. Wade, but it wasn't clear whether a majority of the justices were inclined to overturn the court's precedents entirely.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 31 mins ago - Economy & Business

How to meme a painting

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

How can a physical artwork become an NFT? One new company has just spent $12.9 million on a Banksy in an attempt to try out a new way of converting the real into the virtual.

Why it matters: The art market globally sees volume of about $60 billion per year, almost all of which is trade in physical objects. Art-world insiders including former Christie's c0-chair Loïc Gouzer are on the lookout for ways to monetize physical paintings without necessarily giving up physical ownership of them.

Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

What abortion access would look like if Roe v. Wade is overturned

Expand chart
Data: Axios Research; Cartogram: Sara Wise and Oriana Gonzalez/Axios

Abortion would immediately become illegal in at least 12 states if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, and more would likely follow suit quickly.

Why it matters: The Mississippi case before the Supreme Court Wednesday could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.