US Senate votes to end involvement in Yemen war

Image Credit Peace Action

Image Credit Peace Action

The Senate voted 54-46 today to end United States support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, the third time Congress has done so since December.

Lawmakers in the 100-member chamber passed the document with 54 votes in favor and 46 against.

It now goes to the House, which approved its own similar measure this year, only to have the process stall over a procedural issue. "We need cooperation from Yemen, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia to defeat these terrorists".

The White House has already threatened to veto the legislation, which it says is flawed and could undermine the fight against extremism.

The passage of the measure, which was co-sponsored Sen.

"Today we said enough - enough with this disastrous and unconstitutional war, enough with facilitating this humanitarian disaster, enough with giving the Saudis a blank check".

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Mr Trump said that, since 1976, a total of 56 national emergencies have been declared but Congress has not vetoed any of them. "Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it". "I'm very proud to veto it", he added.

"This is historic. For the first time in 45 years, Congress is one step closer to withdrawing US forces from an unauthorized war", Sen.

But when the House passed the resolution last month, an amendment offered by Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., exempted intelligence sharing from the bill.

"Because the president has directed United States forces to support the Saudi-led coalition under his constitutional powers, the joint resolution would raise serious constitutional concerns to the extent that it seeks to override the president's determination as commander in chief", the White House said in a statement this week. But the Saudi-led effort, which has at times targeted civilian facilities and prevented aid shipments from getting to Yemenis, has been faulted by human rights organizations for exacerbating what the United Nations has deemed the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe.

Opponents argued that the War Powers Resolution does not apply because the not directly involved in combat in Yemen. The vote may well be the first of two congressional rebukes of Trump in as many days. However, the vote puts Congress on a collision course with the US President, who is expected to veto the resolution. "In too many cases our weapons are being used to kill civilians".

In addition to arms, USA military experts have acted as advisers to the Saudi and Emirati command centers in Riyadh and elsewhere, and a US pullout could also impact intelligence gathering.

Lawmakers' willingness to break with Saudi Arabia over Yemen was amplified after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul late past year, and intelligence strongly suggested that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country's de facto ruler, had ordered the operation or was at least aware of it.

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