The US is pressing all sides to negotiate a solution with the United Nations, while it continues support of the Saudi Arabian-led campaign against Houthi rebels inside Yemen, Defense Secretary James Mattis said en route to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. Mattis said the US support comes as Iranian-supplied missiles have been fired by Houthis into Saudi Arabia. “And this is something, with the number of innocent people dying inside Yemen, that has simply got to [be] brought to an end,” Mattis said. “So we will work with our allies, with our partners, to try to get it to the UN-brokered negotiating table.” The fight has gone on “for a long time” and a political solution needs to come soon, he said. Since March 2015, US aircraft and air advisers have helped the Saudi-led coalition fight Houthi forces in Yemen, including air refueling and a team of advisers inside a Saudi operations center.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.