FACT CHECK: No Evidence Saudi Arabia And Qatar Supported Strikes On Houthis

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on X, formerly Twitter, claims that Saudi Arabia and Qatar supported the U.S. and U.K. strikes on Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Verdict: Misleading

There is no evidence that Saudi Arabia and Qatar supported the airstrikes. Only a few countries, such as Bahrain and Australia, were said to have supported them.

Fact Check:

U.S. officials told The New York Times that the U.S. and U.K strikes damaged about 90% of Houthi installations and sites targeted, though the rebel group still retains around 75% of its capabilities to target ships with drones and missiles.

Social media users are sharing claims that Saudi Arabia and Qatar supported the strikes. One user wrote,  “BREAKING: US and British warplanes just ATTACKED Houthi targets in Yemen with the support of Saudi Arabia & Qatar.”

However, there is no evidence that Saudi Arabia and Qatar supported the recent strikes. Check Your Fact could not find any credible news outlets reporting that Saudi Arabia or Qatar supported the strikes. A wider internet search also did not yield any results for Qatar or Saudi Arabia supporting the strikes.

A Jan. 11 statement from President Joe Biden named countries that supported the strikes. Saudi Arabia and Qatar were not named. (Did Pope Francis Say That Jesus Was Born During A Census Taken By King David?)

“Today, at my direction, U.S. military forces—together with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands—successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most vital waterways,” Biden’s statement partially reads.

Neither country was named in a Jan. 12 joint statement from the U.S. and other countries that followed the Jan. 11 statement from Biden.

“In response to continued illegal, dangerous, and destabilizing Houthi attacks against vessels, including commercial shipping, transiting the Red Sea, the armed forces of the United States and United Kingdom, with support from the Netherlands, Canada, Bahrain, and Australia, conducted joint strikes in accordance with the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense, consistent with the UN Charter, against a number of targets in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen,” the statement partially reads.

Countries that signed the statement included South Korea, Denmark and Germany. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did issue a statement on the strikes, calling for “avoiding escalation,” according to Reuters.

“The kingdom emphasizes the importance of maintaining the security and stability of the Red Sea region, as the freedom of navigation in it is an international demand,” the statement says.

Check Your Fact could not find any evidence of Qatar issuing a statement, though the nation did pause tankers transiting through the Red Sea Jan. 15, according to Reuters.

A Pentagon spokesperson told Check Your Fact that “[w]e don’t have anything to read out on this beyond our public statements and press briefings,” which are available on the DOD website.

Check Your Fact reached out to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Qatar and Saudi Arabia for comment and will update this article if responses are provided.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
Follow Elias on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected].