The US Government has reportedly accelerated weapon deliveries to the Saudi Arabian-led coalition that is currently launching airstrikes on Shi’ite Houthi rebels in Yemen.
US Deputy State Secretary Antony Blinken was quoted by Reuters as saying: "Saudi Arabia is sending a strong message to the Houthis and their allies that they cannot overrun Yemen by force.
"As part of that effort, we have expedited weapons deliveries, we have increased our intelligence sharing, and we have established a joint coordination planning cell in the Saudi operation centre."
Approximately a dozen US personnel are believed to be working in the joint coordination planning centre.
Commenting on accelerated shipments, Pentagon spokesman army colonel Steve Warren said: "It’s a combination of pre-existing orders made by our partner nations and some new requirements as they expend munitions."
When questioned about the types of weapons being delivered, Warren told Stars and Stripes: "I don’t have a listing specifically of a shopping list, so to speak, but we’re working very closely with our partners there to get them what they need."
Washington has already expressed readiness to refuel the coalition’s aircraft, if requested by the Saudi Government.
On 26 March, Saudi Arabia began launching airstrikes in Yemen with an aim to weaken Houthis, who currently control large swathes of the country including its capital Sana’a, and also dissolved the parliament earlier this year.
The offensive is code-named Operation Decisive Storm. It is also supported by warplanes from Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, Egypt, as well as the UAE.
Despite largely failing to stop the Houthis and soldiers loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh from advancing into the seaport city of Aden, the airstrikes have however helped fighters push back the rebels from some of their positions in the province.
According to aid agencies, more than 540 people, including dozens of children, have been killed and more than 100,000 have been displaced in Yemen over the past three weeks.