US Senate Votes to End Support for Saudi-led War Coalition on Yemen

Published February 14th, 2019 - 08:31 GMT
Houthi rebel fighters inspect the damage after a reported air strike carried out by the Saudi-led coalition targeted the presidential palace in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Dec. 5. (AFP/ File)
Houthi rebel fighters inspect the damage after a reported air strike carried out by the Saudi-led coalition targeted the presidential palace in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Dec. 5. (AFP/ File)

The House on Wednesday voted to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's civil war, a rebuke of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman's alleged role in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The chamber voted 248-177, with 18 Republicans siding with the Democratic majority.

The Senate approved a matching resolution in December with a vote of 56-41, but that was in the last Congress. The Republican-controlled chamber must vote again in order to force the Trump administration to end its military support of the Saudi coalition.

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., who authored the resolution, called the vote "historic."

"It shows the gravity of what's going on in Yemen -- that the first time we're doing this is against Saudi's brutal bombing campaign in one of the world's greatest humanitarian catastrophes," he said.

If the Senate does pass the resolution, it would be a rare use of the 1973 War Powers Act. It could also lead to President Donald Trump issuing a veto for the first time of his presidency.

The White House issued a statement over the weekend threatening to block the resolution.

"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 it seeks to override the President's determination as Commander in Chief," the statement said.

The internationally recognized government of Yemeni President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi, with support from the Saudi coalition, has been locked in a four-year battle against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels since 2015. The Houthis drove Hadi out of the capital of Sanaa to the government-held stronghold of Aden.

President Donald Trump in November declined to blame the crown prince for the death of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and U.S. resident, despite CIA conclusions otherwise.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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