The Pentagon is considering throwing its weight behind an Arab military plan to capture a Red Sea port in Yemen as part of a move to step up its support for the Saudi-led coalition that has fought a two-year war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

Senior officials said it was part of a new stance adopted by US president Donald Trump’s administration to deepen ties with partners in the Middle East.

James Mattis, the US defence secretary, has asked the White House to lift Obama-era restrictions on American military support to the coalition – which includes the UAE – saying it would help combat a “common threat”, according to The Washington Post. […]