US Senate votes to end support for Yemen war

16 March, 2019, 09:51 | Author: Carlos George
  • Defying President Donald Trump US Senate votes to end support for Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen

The resolution requires the president to withdraw any U-S troops in or affecting Yemen within 30 days.

The bill, which was supported by 54 Senators including seven Republicans, is expected to pass through the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives as well, but President Trump has said that he will veto the measure.

The Senate had approved the war powers resolution in December, during the last Congress, the first time such a measure had passed the chamber. "We need cooperation from Yemen, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia to defeat these terrorists".

After the vote in the Senate, the White House argued that the premise of the resolution was flawed and that it would undermine the fight against extremism.

But its full passage would set a historic marker.

"Today, we begin the process of reclaiming our constitutional power by ending USA involvement in a war that has not been authorized by Congress and is clearly unconstitutional", said independent Senator Bernie Sanders, sponsor of the measure. Mike Lee, R-Utah, marks the first time lawmakers have invoked the decades-old War Powers Resolution to halt American military involvement in a foreign conflict. The Saudis, he said, "are likely using our own weapons.to commit these atrocities of war".

Approaching its fifth year, the war in Yemen has killed thousands and left thousands more on the brink of starvation, creating what the United Nations called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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The official was not authorized to speak publicly on internal deliberations so spoke on condition of anonymity. Trump to vote for the resolution, which passed the Senate Thursday afternoon.

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Yemeni forces are fighting with the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels, whom Saudis accuse of acting as an Iranian proxy.

As Saudi-led coalition airstrikes claimed hundreds of lives over the years, mostly in northern Yemen where the Houthis are based, the US insisted it plays no role in targeting Yemenis.

The caucus initially emphasized that the resolution would end USA midair refueling for Saudi coalition warplanes, which the Donald Trump administration ended previous year shortly after Khashoggi's murder. However, the White House has stated that if the resolution were to land on US President Donald Trump's desk, he would veto it.

In that case too, Trump has promised to use his veto.

Senators voted 54-46 to approve the resolution seeking to terminate any USA military involvement in the conflict without authorization from Congress. The Democratic Senators were joined by six Republican Senators.

Some members of Congress have publicly stated that they suspect that powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was directly responsible for the killing, based on the CIA's conclusions.

A Saudi-led coalition of Arab states intervened the following year, waging a destructive air campaign in support of the government.

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