US

US weighs giving Saudis more military aid for Yemen efforts

  • U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis (C), flanked by U.S. Embassy Charge d'Affaires Christopher Henzel (2nd L) and White House Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell (R), meets with Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman and his delegation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool photo via AP)

    U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis (C), flanked by U.S. Embassy Charge d'Affaires Christopher Henzel (2nd L) and White House Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell (R), meets with Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman and his delegation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis (L) departs after meeting with Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman (R) at the Ministry of Defense in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool photo via AP)

    U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis (L) departs after meeting with Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman (R) at the Ministry of Defense in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman welcomes U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool photo via AP)

    Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman welcomes U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. officials say Washington is looking for ways to boost military support to a Saudi-led campaign against Shiite rebel forces in Yemen.

The goal is to help the Saudis put enough pressure on the Iran-backed rebels known as the Houthis (HOO'-theez) so that they're compelled to enter peace negotiations. The Saudis are partnered in their Yemen campaign with another key U.S. Mideast ally, the United Arab Emirates.

The officials briefed reporters on the internal deliberations on condition they weren't quoted by name.

They said any additional U.S. military support wouldn't include American troops on the ground in Yemen. The U.S. already provides aerial refueling and intelligence to the Saudis.

The Trump administration is keen to stop what it sees as an Iranian ploy to increase its influence in Yemen.