Senate votes to end support for Saudis in Yemen

Despite Trump's objection, Senate votes to end support for the Saudi Arabian-led war effort in Yemen.

Ben Ariel,

Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill
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The US Senate on Wednesday voted to end support for the Saudi Arabian-led war effort in Yemen, AFP reports.

Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled chamber approved a historic curtailment of presidential war powers that directs Trump "to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen" within 30 days.

The Senate vote was 54 to 46, with seven Republicans defying the president and aligning with Democrats, according to AFP.

The text now heads to the Democrat-led House of Representatives, which approved a similar measure that stalled earlier this year, and which is likely to pass the latest effort. The White House has threatened a veto.

Should the House approve the measure, it would be the first ever passed by Congress to invoke the 1973 War Powers Resolution to directly curtail a president's use of military powers.

"Today, we begin the process of reclaiming our constitutional power by ending US involvement in a war that has not been authorized by Congress and is clearly unconstitutional," Senator Bernie Sanders, who is running for president in 2020 and is a sponsor of the measure, said on the Senate floor.

Republican Senator Mike Lee concurred, saying Saudi Arabia "is not an ally that deserves our support or our military intervention."

The Saudis, he said, "are likely using our own weapons... to commit these atrocities of war. That's not OK."

Trump's support for Saudi Arabia has been a point of contention with Congress since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.

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.

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 Saudi Crown Prince, of whom Khashoggi was a strong critic.




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