US Warplanes Refueling Saudi Jets Bombing Yemen: US State Senator

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A Republican member of the Virginia State Senate said the US military and CIA as well as British and French spy agencies are helping Saudi-led forces in their aggression against Yemen, adding that American military planes are refueling Saudi Arabian jets pounding Yemen.

“The US military and CIA, as well as their British and French counterparts, have helped the Saudi war effort by assisting with the blockade, refueling warplanes, and supplying advanced attack weapons and intelligence. American aircraft provide aerial refueling to Saudi jets attacking Yemeni targets,” Sen. Richard Black told Tasnim.

Richard Black represents the 13th District encompassing parts of both Loudoun and Prince Williams Counties. He was previously a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1998 to 2006. Black was a career military officer. He served in both the US Marines and in the US Army JAG Corps. He served a total of 31 years active and reserve, rising from the rank of private to full colonel. He is a graduate of the US Army War College, Command and General Staff College, and Naval Aviator’s Flight School. Black served as a pilot in the US Marines during the Vietnam War, earning the Purple Heart medal. He flew 269 combat helicopter missions with HMM-362’s “Ugly Angels” squadron, which operated out of Ky Ha, Vietnam.

Following is the full text of the interview.

Tasnim: Saudi-led forces and UAE troops began a massive operation on June 13 to bring Yemen’s port city of Hudaydah under their control. What’s behind this attack?

Sen. Black: Saudi Arabia is determined to fully blockade the Yemeni coast. They intend to remove the ability of the Yemenis to feed themselves, to receive medical supplies, and to receive repair materials for buildings destroyed by bombing. Saudi Arabia has deliberately promoted a cholera epidemic by bombing water purification facilities to prevent access to sanitary drinking water. Of course, they also intend to blockade war materials. But the war waged by Saudi Arabia has been largely a war of terror directed equally at military and civilian targets.  Saudi Arabia has intentionally targeted funerals and weddings to maximize civilian casualties. These actions are war crimes which deserve punishment.

Tasnim: Some reports indicate that American, British and French forces are supporting the Saudi and UAE forces in their assault on the port city. What’s your perspective on this?

Sen. Black: This is certainly accurate, and well-documented by many news sources. The US military and CIA, as well as their British and French counterparts, have helped the Saudi war effort by assisting with the blockade, refueling warplanes, and supplying advanced attack weapons and intelligence. American aircraft provide aerial refueling to Saudi jets attacking Yemeni targets.

Tasnim: Some experts say Saudi Arabia and the UAE are trying to use the battle in Hudaydah as a psychological warfare offensive against Yemeni popular fighters. Do you believe so?

Sen. Black: The targeting of Yemeni weddings, water treatment plants, hospitals, fuel lines, hospitals and port facilities is designed to undermine the will of Yemenis to defend their nation against Saudi Arabia. The Saudis attacked Yemen in order to install a puppet government against the will of the people. Their actions are aiding al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which controls a large part of Yemen.  Yemen has been removed from the banking system by western powers.  Their currency was demonetized during the early days of the war, so the people would be unable to pay for food, medicine, repair parts for their power plants and water treatment plants and for weapons. 

Tasnim: Do you think the UN is doing enough to stop the war there?

Sen. Black: The UN does have some symbolic moral authority, and on occasion, they attempt to use that authority for good. In practice, they have little real power except when they approve aggression against states like Libya. For example, in 2011, the UN authorized “all necessary measures” to “protect” civilians in Libya. This resolution gave cover for the mass slaughter of the Libyan people and the nearly total destruction of Libyan civilian and government infrastructure. The nation has remained lawless and in a state of near-anarchy ever since. For this reason, the UN is most effective when it shields warlike nations from public accountability for cruel and bloodthirsty crimes.

So although the UN has little real power, it provides a useful cloak for wars of aggression against neutral, nonbelligerent nations. It is heavily influenced by its major contributors, which include the US (27%), Japan (10%, Germany (6%), France (5%), the UK (4.5%) and China (8%).  Some of these nations are closely allied with Saudi Arabia.  Their contributions to the UN give them considerable leverage over the organization.

In theory, the UN exists to prevent wars of aggression against sovereign nations. In practice, it does not do so. Instead, it often acts as a sounding board for aggressors to attack poor and helpless people in countries like Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. Often those aggressors employ unconstrained terror and brutality to destroy the people, infrastructure and culture of these nations.

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