US Senate votes to end involvement in Yemen war

Lester Mason
March 14, 2019

Chris Murphy a win Wednesday when it approved a resolution seeking to end US support for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in the war in Yemen. Some Senate Republicans this week plan to vote again Trump's emergency declaration, congressional Republicans backed Trump off a withdrawal of USA troops from Syria last month, and the House passed a resolution in January to bar a US exit from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

An earlier version of the resolution passed the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives but was rejected by the Senate; the resolution must now pass the House again before it is sent to the White House, where Trump has promised to veto it. If it were to pass Congress, it would be the first time lawmakers have invoked the decades-old War Powers Resolution to halt American military involvement in a foreign conflict.

The resolution would not curtail USA special forces involved in fighting al Qaeda or allied terrorist groups - a mission that Congress explicitly authorized in 2001. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and Mike Lee, R-Utah. He said a vote in favor of the measure would 'begin the process of reclaiming our constitutional authority by ending United States involvement in a war that has not been authorized by Congress and is unconstitutional'.

In this February 12, 2018, photo, Saudi-led coalition forces are seen in Yemen. Mike Lee of Utah.

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

Many lawmakers also want to push Trump to demand a stronger response from the Saudi government to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in October.

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., addressed those tensions when he urged his colleagues to oppose the measure. "We have been providing the bombs the Saudi-led coalition is using, refueling their planes before they drop those bombs and assisting with intelligence", Sanders said during a speech on the Senate floor ahead of the vote. But Republicans, who controlled the House until January, did not let it come up for a vote.

"We should not be associated with a bombing campaign that the United Nations tells us is likely a gross violation of human rights", Murphy said on the Senate floor Wednesday. The Yemen resolution "seeks to override the President's determination as Commander in Chief", the statement said, and "would harm bilateral relationships in the region".

McConnell argued that the Yemen resolution would "not enhance America's diplomatic leverage" and would make it more hard for the help end the conflict in Yemen and minimize civilian casualties.

Murphy was a co-sponsor of the resolution with Sens.

His legislation calls for an end to a US role in hostilities in Yemen, a nation of almost 30 million people at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, where fighting between the Saudi-backed government and the Houthi rebel movement, backed by Iran, has been raging for four years.

'We need to stay engaged (in Yemen) with the limited engagement we've had, ' Risch said.

The war in Yemen is the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with an estimated 14 million people at risk of starvation.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., also voted for the resolution.

'We are made weaker in the eyes of the world when we willingly participate in war crimes, when we allow our partners to engage in the slaughter of innocents, ' Murphy said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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