Pentagon to ask Saudi Arabia, UAE for $331M reimbursement for refueling planes

The US is requesting $331 million as a “full reimbursement” from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for refueling services and jet fuel provided by US tankers to Saudi-coalition airstrikes. So far, US taxpayers have footed the bill.

US Senator Jack Reed, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced on Thursday that “the Pentagon will now recoup $331 million for US taxpayers from the Saudi-led coalition (SLC).”

The Pentagon previously stated that it had not properly charged the Saudi coalition for refueling services because of “errors in accounting,” according to an internal Pentagon memo dated November 28. The Pentagon had been undercharging the coalition for these services and the fuel.

A “careful review” found that the Pentagon will try to recover all funds that were spent on fuel, refueling services and flight hours, the announcement says.

“The American people should not be forced to bear these costs, and I am encouraged DOD is taking steps to get full reimbursement,” Reed said in the news release, adding that the news “underscores the need for strong oversight of the Department of Defense.” In mid-November, news emerged that the Pentagon had failed its first-ever audit.

The lawmaker noted that the Yemen war has “relieved pressure on al-Qaeda and [Daesh]” before concluding that “it is time for the war to stop.”

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