(Reuters) Saudi Arabia kept some key details of its military action in Yemen from Washington until the last moment, U.S. officials said, as the kingdom takes a more assertive regional role to compensate for perceived U.S. disengagement.
The Middle East's top oil power told the United States weeks ago it was weighing action in Yemen but only informed Washington of the exact details just before Thursday's unprecedented air strikes against Iran-allied Houthi rebels, the officials said.
U.S. President Barack Obama's Middle East policy increasingly relies on surrogates rather than direct U.S. military involvement. He is training Syrian rebels to take on the government of President Bashar Assad and this week launched air strikes to back up Iraqi forces trying to retain the city of Tikrit.
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