Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Senate Passes War Powers Resolution to End Complicity in Yemen War

Senate Passes War Powers Resolution to End Complicity in Yemen War

Yemen's conflict erupted in 2014, when the Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee overseas.

According to the United Nations, 14 million Yemeniscould soon be on the brink of starvation if the bombing continues.

"Ending U.S. support will put even more pressure on Saudi Arabia and the UAE to change their tactics and finally negotiate an end to the war", Martin concluded.

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

The war has also worsened the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where millions face starvation.

At the same time, the vote also has wider implications for USA foreign policy outside of ending the war in Yemen.

Half of Yemen's population relies on food aid to survive, placing them in immediate danger of starving to death after coalition forces blockaded the port city of Hodeidah past year. A handful of Republicans back then offered their support for the measure-or at least wouldn't block it from moving to a floor vote-because of their disgust with MbS and with the Trump administration for defending the Saudis and refusing to enact meaningful consequences for Khashoggi's murder.

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"Twice we've seen these clear expressions of the will of Congress push forward the peace process in very concrete ways", said Layla E. Picard.

According to Al-Jazeera news reports, Senator Bernie Sanders said, "We have the opportunity to take a major step forward in ending the horrific war in Yemen and alleviating that awful, bad suffering being experienced by the people in one of the poorest countries in the world".

"This is historic. For the first time in 45 years, Congress is one step closer to withdrawing USA forces from an unauthorized war", Sen. "But positive engagement from the U.S.is crucial".

Change in the U.S. -Saudi relationship is obviously due in large part to the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, which the Central Intelligence Agency concluded with high confidence was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

It's also another strong rebuke of President Donald Trump's support for Saudi Arabia, which has been a point of tension with Congress since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi previous year. Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, his remains have not been found.

Saudi Arabia "is not an ally that deserves our support of our military intervention", Republican Senator Mike Lee said, adding that the Saudis "are likely using our own weapons ... to commit these atrocities of war". It wasn't immediately clear how a US cutting of ties with the coalition could impact that campaign.

The Senate vote came hours after the White House formally threatened to veto the resolution, arguing it was "flawed". USA support for the Saudis does not constitute engaging in "hostilities", the statement said, and the Yemen resolution "seeks to override the president's determination as commander in chief".

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