Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did discuss the recent Saudi-led airstrike in Yemen in a Monday call with a Saudi prince, an agency official said, after a State Department readout failed to note that aspect of the conversation.
In a readout of Pompeo’s conversation with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the top US diplomat made no mention of last week’s Saudi-led airstrike on a school bus in Yemen that killed dozens of children, many under the age of 10.
On Tuesday, when asked about the omission, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said not every detail of Pompeo’s calls is included in readouts. She added, “This is an issue that the Secretary did raise.”
“Our current position is for an investigation to take place,” she added while saying that the State Department favored a Saudi-led investigation.
“We don’t always list every single thing, every single item” in the Secretary’s calls with foreign officials, she said when asked why neither the strike nor a probe were mentioned in the official State Department readout.
The UN has called for a separate investigation into the deadly strike.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis has said a three-star US general would be involved in an examination of the strike. Nauert said the general is in Saudi Arabia “today” and “was having conversations with the government of Saudi Arabia and coalition partners.”