US Defence Secretary James Mattis bids farewell to Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (C-R) following their meeting in Riyadh on April 19, 2017. / AFP / POOL / JONATHAN ERNST
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When U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis greeted Saudi Arabia's foreign minister at the Pentagon last month, the first thing he did was joke about the time "the Iranians tried to murder you".After long seeking to distance itself from Yemen's brutal civil war, the United States under Trump now appears increasingly to see the conflict through the Gulf's prism of Iranian meddling, even as Washington prioritizes a parallel fight against Al-Qaeda.Officials say that could included expanded sharing of U.S. intelligence.Donegan, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, also said ballistic missiles fired into Saudi Arabia had several times the range of missiles the Yemenis had before the conflict.Trump administration officials have not ruled out U.S. assistance should the coalition move ahead, but U.S. officials said Washington is not considering strikes on Houthi targets or deploying ground forces.Intelligence gleaned from UAE-backed operations has been shared with the United States, which is rebuilding its knowledge about the group since the war forced the pullout of its personnel in 2015 .
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