Pompeo certifies Saudi Arabia, UAE protecting civilians

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certified to Congress in a statement Wednesday that the Saudi and Emirati governments "are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure."
  • Pompeo says ending the conflict has been "a national security priority" for President Donald Trump.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presents a statement to the media following a meeting with his Indian counterpart in New Delhi on September 6, 2018. - 
Prakash Singh | AFP | Getty Images
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presents a statement to the media following a meeting with his Indian counterpart in New Delhi on September 6, 2018. - 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he has told Congress the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are doing enough to protect civilians amid their military operations to end the civil war in Yemen.

Pompeo said in a statement Wednesday he certified to Congress that the Saudi and Emirati governments "are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure." He says ending the conflict has been "a national security priority" for President Donald Trump.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last month the U.S. intended to continue backing the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen despite civilian casualties. He said Wednesday he agrees the Saudi and Emirati governments are making "every effort to reduce the risk of civilian casualties."

"I endorse and fully support Secretary Pompeo's certification to the Congress that the Governments of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are making every effort to reduce the risk of civilian infrastructure resulting from their military operations to end the civil war in Yemen," Mattis said in a statement. "The Saudi-led coalition's commitment is reflected in their support for these UN-led efforts. Alongside the Department of State we are actively engaged with Mr. Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy, to achieve a negotiated end to this fighting."

--CNBC.com contributed to this report.