The US is set to announce an end to its support for offensive operations in Yemen, which has been devastated by a six-year war in which more than 110,000 people are believed to have died.
The policy change by the new president, Joe Biden, was announced by his national security adviser on Thursday.
Under Mr Biden’s two predecessors, the US backed a coalition led by Saudi Arabia against rebels in Yemen.
The conflict has left millions of Yemenis on the brink of starvation.
Fighting began in 2014 between a weak Yemeni government and the Houthi rebel movement. It escalated a year later, when Saudi Arabia and eight other Arab states – backed by the US, the UK and France – began air strikes against the Houthis.
What does the announcement mean?
The decision would affect US support for offensive operations in the war between the Yemeni government and the Houthis, including the sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told a briefing in Washington.
It did not extend to operations against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, he said.
Mr Biden is also expected to announce a special envoy for Yemen later on Thursday. His administration has already put a temporary halt on arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
This marks a change of tack from Mr Trump’s administration, which increased support for the Saudi-led coalition. Last month Mr Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced that the Houthis were being designated a “terrorist organisation”.
He said the aim was to hold the Houthis accountable for cross-border attacks and deter “malign activity” by their backer Iran.
Aid organisations criticised the move, warning that it could prevent them from operating in areas where millions are in urgent need of food aid.
Last week, the Biden administration said it would exempt certain transactions involving the Houthis from sanctions. That exemption will expire on 26 February.
The United Nations says Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with 80% of the population in need of aid or protection.
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