Sunday, 09 December, 2018

Senate rejects bid to end U.S. support for Saudi campaign in Yemen

The war in Yemen has killed more than 6,000 people half of them civilians The war in Yemen has killed more than 6,000 people half of them civilians
Gustavo Carr | 23 March, 2018, 14:41

The US Senate has rejected an effort to end support for the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians and driven the country to the brink of starvation, after a rare attempt by Congress to claw back its war powers from the executive branch.

The measure, brought forth by Sens.

The Senate voted 55-44 to dismiss the resolution, which sought for the first time to take advantage of a provision in the 1973 War Powers Act that allows any senator to introduce a resolution on whether to withdraw U.S. armed forces from a conflict not authorized by Congress.

The bipartisan resolution was the latest congressional attempt to check the presidential exercise of military force overseas.

"I'm deeply disappointed that Congress again abdicated its constitutional duty to authorize war". Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah), the resolution (SJ Res. 54) would have ended the tacit military support-including targeting assistance, refueling, and intelligence sharing-of the Saudi's campaign to wage war on Yemen, a nation now embroiled in a civil war and experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises on the planet. "Over and over, Congress has sat back and failed to ask the hard questions as administrations have misled us into conflicts, including Vietnam and Iraq, with disastrous consequences", Sanders said.

The third anniversary of the Saudi intervention in Yemen falls this weekend, with no sign of peace. "Instead of supplying bombs and refueling capabilities, we should be doing everything possible to create a peaceful resolution to that civil war and provide humanitarian help".

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The resolution would have forced US President Donald Trump "to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen", except operations against al-Qaeda or affiliated forces.

USA military involvement in the Saudi invasion of Yemen was never authorized by Congress.

In Washington, D.C., activists have laid 5,000 flowers onto the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to symbolize the 5,000 Yemeni children who have been killed or injured in the ongoing U.S. -backed, Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen.

McConnell added that USA intelligence provides the Saudis "greater precision in their air campaign", resulting in fewer civilian casualties.

The New York Times reported that State Department and Pentagon officials were opposed to the resolution and warned senators that ending USA involvement in Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen could damage relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

"Withdrawing US support would increase not decrease the risk of civilian casualties and it would signal that we're not serious about containing Iran or it's proxies", he said.