Senate calls to end US support for war in Yemen

Amid tensions over Khashoggi murder, US Senate approves resolution to end support for Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Ben Ariel ,

US Capitol
US Capitol

The US Senate on Thursday approved a resolution to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, amid heightened tensions over the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Senators voted 56-41 on the resolution, which would require the president to withdraw any troops in or “affecting” Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting Al-Qaeda, according to The Hill.

The resolution still needs to be passed by the House before it can be sent to Trump, who has threatened to veto it. The House on Wednesday narrowly approved a rule governing debate on the farm bill that included a provision that would prevent lawmakers from forcing a war powers vote this year.

The Senate vote Thursday underscores the depth of frustration with Saudi Arabia on Capitol Hill, as well as the escalating gap between the White House and Congress on the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has admitted that Khashoggi was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, after previously denying Turkish claims that he was murdered. At the same time, the Saudi leadership claimed Khashoggi was killed in a “rogue” operation and denies any connection to the murder.

Recent reports have indicated that the CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the killing, but the State Department has clarified the government was still working on determining responsibility for the death of Khashoggi.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted recently there was no direct evidence connecting the Saudi Crown to the murder.

US lawmakers have called for a stronger US response to Khashoggi’s murder and said that there was “zero question” about the involvement of the Crown Prince.

The resolution's passage comes two days after President Donald Trump maintained that he would stand by the Saudi government and specifically the Crown Prince.

Trump told Reuters on Tuesday that Riyadh has been “a very good ally” and “at this moment” sticking with Saudi Arabia means standing by the crown prince.