Kerry calls for end to conflicts in Syria and Yemen

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
King Salman (R) receives US Secretary of State John Kerry at King Khalid Military City, Saudi Arabia on Friday evening.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has called for efforts to end the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, a senior US State Department official says.

Kerry arrived in Saudi Arabia on Friday and met top Saudi Arabian officials, including Saudi King Salman as well as the kingdom's crown prince, deputy crown prince and foreign minister at a military base outside Hafr al-Batin.

"Secretary Kerry emphasized that now is the time to keep moving forward toward ending the conflicts in Syria and Yemen," the US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters.

Saudi Arabia has been under criticism for sponsoring terrorist groups in Syria and attacking Yemen, killing many innocent people and destroying numerous residential areas and other infrastructures there.

In Syria, foreign-backed militancy, which began in March 2011, has resulted in the death of over 470,000, according to the Syrian Center for Policy Research.

The US has been leading a campaign of airstrikes in the Arab country, claiming the attacks target Daesh positions. 

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia announced that it was ready to send special forces to Syria if the US-led coalition decides to send ground troops.

On Sunday, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal said Riyadh believed that the US-led airstrikes alone could not defeat the Takfiri group in the war-torn country.

The kingdom has sent Turkey a number of warplanes which took part in a joint military exercise there, claiming that the move was in line with the so-called fight against Daesh Takfiri terrorists in Syria.

In Yemen, Saudi Arabia has been conducting airstrikes since late March last year. At least 8,300 people, including 2,236 children, have been killed so far and 16,015 others have sustained injuries.

The strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories, according to Yemen’s Human Rights Center.


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