With U.A.E. withdrawal from Yemen, Saudi Crown Prince could lose an ally (Axios)

The United Arab Emirates is reportedly withdrawing most of its forces from Yemen to defend its home front in the event of an Iran conflict — a move that could also improve its standing with U.S. lawmakers critical of the war in Yemen.

The big picture: The U.A.E.’s withdrawal of troops could lead to de-escalation in Yemen, but for Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman (MBS), a key Arab friend of the Trump administration, it is the latest indicator that he is rapidly running out of allies.

What’s happening: The Saudi crown prince is increasingly seen as toxic by members of U.S. Congress.

  • The war in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has been fighting Iranian-backed Houthi rebels since 2015, has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and resulted in the world’s worst ongoing humanitarian disaster.
  • Additionally, a recent UN report found “credible evidence” that MBS ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • Accordingly, and in a rare bipartisan stand against the Trump administration, the U.S. Congress voted in June to block new arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
  • At the G20 summit in Osaka at the end of June, most world leaders gave MBS a wide berth, though President Trump notably praised him for doing “a spectacular job.”

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