US gets payment from Saudi-led coalition for refueling

             By Umar Farooq</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S. received its first reimbursement payment from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, after Washington failed to charge for fuel and refueling charges, the Pentagon said Thursday.</p>  <p>&quot;The U.S. has received initial reimbursement for the additional refueling expenses following notification to the Saudi-led Coalition of the billing error,&quot; Pentagon spokeswoman Rebecca Rebarich told Anadolu Agency in a statement.</p>  <p> The Pentagon said in December it was seeking seeking $37 million for fuel and $294 million for mid-air refueling services conducted by American forces, totaling $331 million owed by Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE).</p>  <p>&quot;The process of reimbursement is continuing, and we continue to expect full reimbursement of refueling expenses, which has been revised to approximately $299,000,000 for fuel, refueling and flight hours,&quot; Rebarich said.</p>  <p>The charges to Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been for their campaign in Yemen to fight Houthi rebel forces.</p>  <p>Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country and the crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition, with support of the U.S., launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.</p>  <p>The UN describes the situation as one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times.</p>  <p>Tens of thousands of people, including civilians, are believed to have been killed and the UN estimates 14 million Yemenis are at risk of famine.