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Pompeo certifies Saudi Arabia, UAE protecting civilians

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh) says he has told Congress the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are doing enough to protect civilians amid their military operations to end the civil war in Yemen.

Pompeo said in a statement Wednesday he certified to Congress that the Saudi and Emirati governments “are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure.” He says ending the conflict has been “a national security priority” for President Donald Trump.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last month the U.S. intended to continue backing the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen despite civilian casualties. He said Wednesday he agrees the Saudi and Emirati governments are making “every effort to reduce the risk of civilian casualties.”