The State Department and the Pentagon are looking into allegations that U.S. military hardware, sold to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, has ended up in the wrong hands in Yemeni civil war

The State Department has already sent questions to both of its allies over these allegations but has received “insufficient responses” to the questions on whether either the Saudis or UAE, or perhaps both, allowed U.S combat gear, that had been sold to them, to end up in the wrong hands. 

This ongoing probe centers mainly around MRAP armored vehicles (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles). The MRAPs were sold to the UAE and Saudi Arabia and then somehow were transferred to the very enemies of the forces that the U.S. is supporting in the civil war — in some cases, including al Qaeda-linked fighters and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

If true, this is a clear violation of the agreements Washington has with both the Saudis and Emiratis. However, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen responded to the State Department’s claim stating that “all required information (is) available.”

The Emiratis released a statement saying that in no instances was any U.S.-made gear used without direct UAE oversight but admitted that four vehicles were captured by enemy forces. 

Meanwhile, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) pressed the State Department for answers. She has made two requests in 2019 demanding answers to whether U.S.-made military weapons were ending up in the wrong hands in Yemen. 

“The latest report underscores the need for concrete answers to my initial inquiry, highlights the importance of preventing unauthorized access, unauthorized transfers, or other violations of end-user agreements by foreign governments, and raises legitimate questions about whether it is in America’s interest to continue selling arms and other military hardware to the Saudi and UAE governments,”  Warren wrote.

The State Department answered Warren with a letter of their own saying, “the Department of State takes these allegations very seriously and is working closely with partner nations to determine whether there were any such unauthorized transfers.” The letter was written by Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Mary Elizabeth Taylor.