The Pentagon is seeking $331 million in refueling charges from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates after U.S. Central Command found "errors in accounting."
CENTCOM has now "calculated the correct charges, and Department of Defense is in the process of seeking reimbursements," Pentagon spokeswoman Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich said in an email.
The cost of the fuel in question is $36.8 million, while the cost of the flights hours is $294 million.
"Our partners have been individually notified about our intent to seek reimbursement, and have been given estimates as to how much they owe," Rebarich said.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, released a statement saying he led the inquiry that led CENTCOM to investigate missed charges between March 2015 and November 2018 related to U.S. mid-air refueling services provided to the Saudi-led fighting in Yemen.
"This is good news for U.S. taxpayers and underscores the need for strong oversight of the Department of Defense," Reed said. "The American people should not be forced to bear these costs and I am encouraged DOD is taking steps to get full reimbursement. The Pentagon is taking action to reduce accounting errors of this nature and Congress must continue to be vigilant and fulfill its oversight mission."
Still, Reed said, a "larger issue remains" regarding Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.
"It must be made clear to both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis that there is no military solution to this conflict and the time has come to reach a sustainable negotiated settlement," he said. "The conflict in Yemen has negatively impacted the strategic security interests of the Saudis, Emiratis, and the United States. It has emboldened Iran and relieved pressure on al Qaeda and ISIS. Most importantly, the conflict has resulted in the largest humanitarian disaster facing the world in recent memory. It is time for this war to stop."
Meanwhile, the Senate took a historic 56-41 vote today to end U.S. support for Saudi-led forces in Yemen by invoking the War Powers Resolution -- the first time in history a chamber of Congress has done so.