Pompeo ignored experts in keeping Saudi Arabia off of child soldiers list, sources say

BipHoo Company / Flickr Pompeo to signal tough line on...
BipHoo Company / Flickr

State Department experts say that Saudi Arabia is hiring child soldiers from Sudan to fight in Yemen, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to put Saudi Arabia on a list of countries recruiting child soldiers, sources told Reuters. Instead, Sudan will reportedly be added to the list.

Inclusion on the list means that a country can’t receive U.S. military aid, training, or weapons unless it’s given a waiver. Since the Trump administration would definitely have given Saudi Arabia a waiver, just as it’s given the country a pass on the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, keeping Saudi Arabia off of the child soldiers list was a way to avoid making a controversial decision publicly.

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