Secretary of State Mike Pompeo backed continued U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen in order to protect $2 billion in U.S. weapons sales, The Wall Street Journal reports. Citing a classified memo and anonymous officials, the report states Pompeo overruled concerns from State Department staff about the spiraling death toll in the conflict. More than 16,700 civilians have been killed or injured in Yemen, according to the United Nations, which ranks it as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Pompeo reportedly sided with his legislative affairs team after they claimed that cutting off support could ruin plans to sell 120,000 precision-guided missiles to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said she wouldn’t comment on “the deliberative process or allegedly leaked documents.” The U.S. provides the Saudi-led coalition with weapons sales and the aerial refuellng of jet-fighters destined for airstrikes.
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