Since the end of World War II, Saudi Arabia and the United States have maintained a relationship based on an exchange of oil for security. Their mutual interests have included the free flow of oil, and fighting the spread of communism and extremist groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS. Saudi Arabia and the United States have not agreed on support for Israel or engagement with Saudi Arabia’s regional rival, Iran. In October 2013, Saudi Arabia expressed disappointment in the United States’ muted response to unrest in Syria, another regional rival.
Saudi Arabia was a founding member of the Arab League in 1945. It currently maintains close ties with its neighbor, Bahrain, and helped the Sunni monarchy there put down an Arab Spring uprising in 2011.
Saudi Arabia was a longtime supporter of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak before his overthrow in 2011. It did not support the successor government of Mohamed Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood. After Morsy’s overthrow in 2013, Saudi Arabia returned its support to new president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
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A military intervention was launched by Saudi Arabia in 2015, leading a coalition of nine Middle Eastern countries, to influence the outcome of the Yemeni Civil War. Initially, it consisted of a bombing campaign and later saw a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen. The Saudi-led coalition has attacked the positions of the Houthi militia and loyalists of the former President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, allegedly supported by Iran (Saudi Arabia and the United States claim, denied by Iran), in response to a request from the internationally-recognized but domestically opposed government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi