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Pentagon chief reaffirms defensive support for Saudi Arabia amid Houthi strikes

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to reaffirm strategic ties.
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - DECEMBER 09: U.S. Army (retired) General Lloyd Austin speaks after being formally nominated to be Secretary of the Department of Defense by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden at the Queen Theatre on December 09, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. The only African-American to have headed U.S. Central Command, Lloyd Austin, 67, is a four-star general who was in charge of American forces in Iraq from 2010 to late 2011. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman by phone on Thursday to convey Washington’s continued support for the kingdom’s defense against Houthi attacks emanating from Yemen.

The Pentagon chief “underscored Saudi Arabia’s role as a pillar of the regional security architecture in the Middle East and the importance of sharing the responsibility of regional security and stability,” the Defense Department said in a press release.

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