Senate votes to end US aid to Saudi-led war in Yemen

Updated: Mar 15, 2019, 11:48 IST | Agencies |

The US provides weapons to Saudi coalition in Yemen - a country that is in one of the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with over 10,000 deaths so far

Activists rally in front of the White House to protest against Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen. File pic/AFP
Activists rally in front of the White House to protest against Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen. File pic/AFP

Washington: The US Senate has dealt a stinging bipartisan rebuke to Donald Trump's foreign policy and his alliance with Riyadh, voting to end support for the bloody Saudi-led war effort in Yemen. Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled chamber approved on Wednesday a historic curtailment of presidential war powers that directs Trump "to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen" within 30 days.

The Senate vote was 54 to 46, with seven Republicans defying the president and aligning with Democrats. The text now heads to the Democrat-led House of Representatives, which approved a similar measure that stalled earlier this year, and which is likely to pass the latest effort. The White House has threatened a veto, calling the measure "flawed" and saying it would harm bilateral relationships in the region.

But its full passage would set a historic marker. It would be the first measure passed by Congress to invoke the 1973 War Powers Resolution to directly curtail a president's use of military powers. Republican Senator Mike Lee said Saudi Arabia "is not an ally that deserves our support or our military intervention." The Saudis, he said, "are likely using our own weapons to commit these atrocities of war. That's not OK."

The United States provides weapons and refuelling to the Saudi coalition. The resolution is a reminder that Congress has the legal ability to compel the removal of US military forces. Should it pass Congress, it could force Trump to issue the first veto of his tenure.

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