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    Why Trump lashed out at Saudi Arabia about its role in Yemen’s war

    President Trump’s public rebuke of Saudi Arabia this month for its role in the conflict in Yemen was an impromptu move quickly set in motion after intelligence officials presented him with images of the deepening humanitarian crisis there, officials said.
    In a strongly worded statement that surprised foreign diplomats and even key figures in his administration, Trump called on Saudi Arabia to allow food and supplies to reach “the Yemeni people who desperately need it.”
    “This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately,” he said.
    The Dec. 6 statement marked a striking departure for a president who has shown unflinching support for the kingdom’s leadership. Administration officials say it was instrumental in Saudi Arabia’s decision to temporarily suspend its blockade of the Red Sea port of Hodeida, though critics question how much the move will ease the suffering in Yemen’s nearly three-year-old war.
    The episode also highlights the powerful role that depictions of civilian suffering overseas have had in stirring a president who took office with a clear domestic focus and little foreign policy experience. Sometimes they have triggered sudden, consequential responses from the president.
    In April, Trump decided to launch Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base after televised images of victims of a chemical weapons attack, including lifeless children, had what he said was a “big impact” on him. It was the first direct U.S. assault on the government of President Bashar al-Assad in that country’s civil war, a seeming break with the administration’s policy on the Syrian leader.
    The Washington Post

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