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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.

Saudi Arabia:

"Recently the Kingdom and the Coalition has increased its capability to independently conduct inflight refueling in Yemen. As a result, in consultation with the United States, the Coalition has requested cessation of inflight refueling support for it's operations in Yemen. ‏The Coalition Command expresses its hope that the upcoming UN sponsored negotiations in a third country, will lead to a negotiated settlement in accordance to UNSCR 2216 and see an end to the aggression by the Iranian backed Houthi militias' against the Yemeni people and countries in the region..."

Secretary Mattis:

"We support the decision by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, after consultations with the U.S. Government, to use the Coalition’s own military capabilities to conduct inflight refueling in support of its operations in Yemen. We are all focused on supporting resolution of the conflict, led by UN Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths. ... The U.S. will also continue working with the Coalition and Yemen to minimize civilian casualties and expand urgent humanitarian efforts throughout the country."

Go deeper

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male aides who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.

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