The US State Department and Pentagon are investigating reports that American-made armored vehicles may have fallen into the hands of terrorist groups in Yemen via Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a newly published letter to a lawmaker showed.
“The Department of State takes these allegations very seriously and is working closely with partner nations to determine whether there were any such unauthorized transfers”, Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Mary Elizabeth Taylor wrote to Senator and presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren in a letter published on Tuesday.
Taylor said that since allegations were limited to Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, both the State and Defence Departments had already inspected MRAP inventories in the United Arab Emirates and were planning ‘a similar oversight visit’ to Saudi Arabia in November 2019.
“Once the Departments of State and Defence complete the visits and any necessary follow-up discussions with the two governments, the Department expects to have a full account of the circumstances related to the disposition of this equipment and any potential violation of the agreements”, Taylor added.
The letter was sent to Warren in response to her query submitted to the State Department last month.
Yemen has been locked in a conflict between the government forces led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Houthi rebels. A Saudi-led coalition has been conducting strikes against the Houthis at Hadi’s request since March 2015.