The US military has withdrawn personnel who were assisting the Saudi-led coalition in coordinating air strikes in Yemen in an apparent move to distance themselves from the increasing civilian death toll.
The number killed currently stands at over 6,500 people, mostly civilians.
The Pentagon said there are now “fewer than five” troops inside Saudi Arabia participating in the operation, down from nearly 45 at the peak of US involvement.
The announcement comes at the end of a week of several high-profile incidents in which Saudi warplanes attacked and killed significant numbers of Yemeni civilians, including an attack on a school and the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders facility.
Pentagon officials, however, insist that the drawdown is unrelated to international concerns about civilian deaths, and that it “does not diminish US commitment to supporting Saudi-led military operations.” They added that a re-escalation was possible.
Saudi officials declined to directly comment on the report, saying the moving of US personnel had no impact on the war, and that they continue to enjoy extensive American support for their bombing campaign against northern Yemen.